Northern Health patients, residents enjoying more B.C. foods

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    Source: Dawson Creek Mirror

    Patients at hospitals and residential care facilities in Northern Health will enjoy more B.C. food options on their meal trays, resulting in an increased local food experience and greater opportunities for B.C. farmers, fishers, ranchers and food processors.

    “We are creating a resilient food system for the people of British Columbia through programs like Feed BC,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “I’m so excited Northern Health is now part of Feed BC. We’re opening the door for a multitude of new, exciting business opportunities for B.C. farmers, fishers, ranchers and processors and I know they’re looking forward to providing more of their delicious products in the North.”

    Health facilities are an important market for B.C. foods. Some examples of current B.C. produced or processed products and suppliers to Northern Health’s facilities include:

    • chicken/Sunrise Farms
    • frozen green beans and peas/Sysco
    • cheese/Paradise Island
    • falafels/Amana Foods Inc
    • applesauce/Sun-Rype Products Limited
    • frozen blueberries/Snowcrest Foods
    • cakes, squares/Original Cakerie

    Through Feed BC, the Ministry of Agriculture is working with supply-chain partners to increase opportunities for northern producers and processors interested in selling to B.C.’s public-sector institutions. Business development skills, guidance on how to sell to institutions, and targeted training for more northern producers to acquire food safety certifications required by health facilities will help support food production and open new markets in the region.

    Northern Health supports the health and wellness of more than 300,000 British Columbians in an area covering more than 600,000 square kilometres and operates 27 hospitals and residential care facilities serving over 1.9 million meals per year.

    Quotes:

    Michael Hoefer, regional director, capital planning and support services, Northern Health –

    “Northern Health is committed to continuing to work with our food suppliers and food distributors to include even more B.C. foods on our menu. Supporting BC producers while preparing healthy meals with local ingredients for our patients and residents meets the values of our communities in the North.”

    Jennifer Oravec, business development specialist, Sysco –

    “Sysco will now have available for Northern Health and other customers frozen rhubarb, blueberries, peas and green beans that are grown and processed in B.C.”

    Kieran Christison, owner, Daybreak Farms –

    “We are a family farm based in Terrace and we are proud to produce our products in the North, for the North. The Feed BC program is such a great opportunity for producers in the northern region to showcase their products. Hospital patients and long-term care residents need the best care. They are our family, friends and neighbours, and Feed BC ensures that we are feeding them the best of local and nutritious products.”

    Quick Facts:

    • Feed BC is working to build the provincial food supply, support jobs and businesses for farmers, fishers, ranchers and food processors, and offer more B.C. foods to patients, students and other clients. In the provincial health-care system, Feed BC now has partnerships with the Interior, Fraser and Northern Health authorities.
    • The BC Food Hub Network supports increased regional processing capacity, furthering the opportunity for more B.C. food products in public institutions and other markets.
    • The City of Quesnel is working to develop Sprout Kitchen, a regional food hub that will provide producers and processors access to shared commercial processing space, equipment and services.
    • B.C.’s non-commercial food service purchases are approximately $398 million annually, most of which are for government-supported facilities. This represents a significant opportunity for B.C.’s agriculture and food sector.
    • Feed BC leads and supports numerous initiatives that encourage, inspire and support the shift to more B.C. foods, build valuable supply chain partnerships, and grow capacity and awareness about supply and demand to better connect B.C. producers and processors and government foodservice opportunities.