CHEK Upside: Vancouver Island farmer donates 2,000 pounds of food to Mustard Seed

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WatchOn Nov. 13 at the Mustard Seed Food Security Distribution Centre in Esquimalt, Steve Pearce backed up his truck and attached trailer ready to make a difference in the Greater Victoria community.

On Friday at the Mustard Seed Food Security Distribution Centre in Esquimalt, Steve Pearce backed up his truck and attached trailer ready to make a difference in the Greater Victoria community.

“This is a great day,” said Janiene Boice, senior director of The Mustard Seed. “We feel really blessed that we’ve received this large donation.”

Boice could barely contain her excitement as Pearce dropped off nearly 450 pounds of grass-fed ground beef, sourced from his family’s Pendray Farm in the Saanich Peninsula.

“It just made sense, when we’ve got extra why not share it,” said Pearce, who also works as a commercial producer for Seafirst Insurance.

Along with his hefty beef donation, Pearce rallied his business to join in.

“Seafirst Insurance jumped in right away and they purchased 500 boxes of spaghetti noodles as well 500 cans of spaghetti sauce.”

The near 2,000 pound donation is all going to the Mustard Seed Food Bank, a non-profit that supplies food and other essential services for people in need in the greater Victoria area.

“That’s about 8,000 meals going out just with today’s donations,” said a smiling Boice.

And with a rough economy and many of their fundraisers cancelled due toCOVID-19, demand for donations at the Mustard Seed is reaching an all-time high.

“We’ve increased our need for the greater Victoria community by 30 per cent since the pandemic started,” said Boice. “We’re serving about 45,000 individuals through our food processing,9,000 pounds come in and it goes out daily.”

The non-profit relies on donations and an army of volunteers.

“This really gives me a sense of fulfillment in doing something good for the community,” said Chris Hammer, a volunteer chef who lost his job due to COVID-19 cutbacks.

It’s similar motivation for Pearce, who also wants to inspire local businesses to make a difference this holiday season.

“We want to put a challenge out there to all businesses in Victoria, if they’re not having that holiday Christmas party, what are they doing with the extra funds?”

His hope? Giving back, and helping feed a community in need. For more information on the Mustard Seed business challenge, click here.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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