Food Recovery Project
(reFRESH Cowichan)


In late 2018, Cowichan Green Community received a second round of funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to further develop the very successful Cowichan Food Recovery Project.

This project employs six full-time staff. Together, we are expanding the food recovery system to reclaim unwanted food, and redirect it into a variety of other more sustainable streams including re-distribution, processing, animal feed, and compost.

As a part of our ongoing work to become a self-sustaining social enterprise, we are creating a series of value-added products, which are now for sale in the reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace



Milestones to date:

  • Recovered over 40,000 lbs of fruit and vegetables, thanks to partnerships with two major local grocery stores. Much of this was donated to:
    • House of Friendship (Healthiest Babies Possible, Community Kitchens, & Youth Centre Program) Penelakut Island, Halalt First Nation, Cowichan Tribes Daycare, Clements Centre, CV Basket Society, CV Women’s Shelter, Khohemun Elementary School, Healthy Beginnings, Warmland House, with more to come,
  • Finalized an agreement with Fisher Road Recycling
    to accept any food waste that cannot be redistributed,
  • Acquired a transport van and a refrigerated truck
  • Connected to local livestock farmers who receive all non-human grade produce.
  • Secured a distribution centre at Hope Farms Healing Centre. This space is owned and managed by the Mustard Seed (who run an amazing food recovery project in Victoria, BC) and was previously used by them as a distribution centre for Food Banks of BC. It is already set up with large walk-in coolers and freezers, and plenty of space for shelving, storage, and sorting.
  • In 2019 we officially launched the reFRESH Cowichan Marketplace, where recovered food is made available and accessible to the community.

reFRESH Cowichan is: Nathan Harben, Todd Carnahan, Lisa Cooper, Jonathon Line, Marcia Forst, Nanita Nair, and John Stewart.

For more information, or if you are interested in making a donation, resources or time, please contact Nathan, the Project Supervisor at or call 250-748-8506.