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Sustainable food system gets a boost with $700,000 in grants

Tsawwassen First Nation farm one of 19 Vancity grant recipients

February 1, 2016, Vancouver, B.C. — A grant from Vancity’s enviroFund™ program will help students who graduate from The Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School to develop their farming business skills on farming incubator plots.

The plots are located on the traditional Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School lands. The 20-acre farm includes a traditional-medicine garden, a two-acre fruit orchard, an organic market garden and farm animals. A $40,000 grant from the enviroFund will help to support farming infrastructure, increase the number of incubator farmers and the quantity of food harvested and sold on the farm.

The grant is one of 19 enviroFund grants — totalling $700,000 — distributed by Vancity in 2015 from a portion of its enviro™ Visa* profits.

Since the program’s inception 15 years ago, not-for-profit organizations have received $6.9 million for projects that enhance environmental sustainability. In 2012, Vancity began focusing on grants to help build a sustainable food system in British Columbia. Since that time, the credit union has given $3.2 million towards increasing the local food production and growth of the sector.

Grants have gone towards local food initiatives such as implementing farming systems to extend vegetable production in shoulder seasons, assisting new and young farmers to gain access to available farmland, learning how to run a financially viable farm business and tracing the source of sustainable seafood and food education programs related to farming, production and distribution.

Vancity allocated the $700,000 in 2015 enviroFund grants to the following recipients:

A new wave of granting will be available in 2016. Interested non-profits and related organizations can apply at


“It’s important to support farmers to help build a sustainable food system in British Columbia. It’s a great concept that simply by using an enviro Visa credit card you can contribute to a local, healthy food sector.” William Azaroff, Vancity’s vice-president of community investment

More information

  • Backgrounder: Vancity’s investment in local and organic food

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394

™ enviro, enviroFund, Make Good Money, and Vancity are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.
*Visa Int./Vancity, Licensed User.


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