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CDC Partners with Fresh Routes

Neighbourhood: CDC Partners with Fresh Routes   Timeline: 2019-2020

Last Project Update: April 23, 2020

Edmonton CDC & Fresh Routes Form Partnership

April 23, 2020

One CDC strategic plan priority is to address food insecurity in low income neighbourhoods through the development of mobile food markets. When we began engagement on that strategy, we became aware of Fresh Routes’ efforts to bring its successful Calgary-based mobile food marketsĀ  to Edmonton.

Rather than create a competing initiative, the CDC decided to get behind these current efforts and do what we could to create a permanent and viable Edmonton-based Fresh Routes.

Starting as a pilot project in Calgary in 2018, Fresh Routes has grown quickly and now offers mobile grocery stores/mobile markets at approximately 60 locations, with Edmonton currently having 15 locations.

Fresh Routes made its Edmonton debut in October 2019, and, in keeping with our vision to help neighborhoods attain a quality of life that is healthy, sustainable, and attractive, Edmonton CDC approached the Fresh Routes team to identify partnership possibilities.

In March 2020 a partnership was formalized that includes a financial investment by the CDC in this innovative social enterprise that will help Fresh Routes buy an Edmonton-based truck, write grant applications, assist with business planning, and undertake a visioning process for acquiring or building a local warehouse and explore the feasibility of an alternative grocery store.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC also invested in Fresh Routes’ emergency food kit service for low income families and seniors. The public can still donate to this effort.

Fresh Routes is a great example of community members mobilizing to address community needs in innovative and sustainable ways, and the Edmonton CDC is pleased to help grow a sustainable mobile grocery store system in Edmonton.

Food Insecurity Engagement

February 27, 2019

The Edmonton CDC is committed to undertaking collaborative efforts to address food security issues and challenges in Edmonton. Working with Councillor Paquette and his team, we have convened two meetings to date about developing a cohesive approach to distributing quality, affordable, and culturally relevant food to community members, with an emphasis of increasing access to such food by marginalized, low income people.

Engagement to date has included city staff and social workers, representatives of End Poverty Edmonton, Leftovers Edmonton, the University of Alberta (CUP), Multi-Cultural Health Brokers, Jasper Place Health and Wellness, and others.

Our goals include developing a mobile food market system to bring food into neighbourhoods, a food basket subscription program, and bulk foods as well. There is a lot of work to do to get this going and a small team will soon begin work on a case for support so that we can undertake a comprehensive business plan, hire an animator, and pursue partnerships across all sectors. The notes of our recent meeting will soon be posted.

We are grateful to Lourdes Juan founder of Leftovers Foundation in Calgary for her presentations and support in helping us move forward. Take a look at this video in which Lourdes talks about her work in Calgary!

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