UPDATE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, services provided by the Community Food Resources listed below are either unavailable or limited until further notice. Currently available Community Food Resources are:

  • CMS Food Bank: Limited services. Giving out hampers by appointment only. Clients are to call and make an appointment or leave a message with their contact information. Phone 250-743-5242 or email cmsfoodbank@gmail.com
  • Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank: Services still available. See below for more information.
  • Cowichan Neighbourhood House: Limited services. Food available Monday’s and Wednesday’s 1PM – 2:30PM, and Friday’s 11:30AM – 1:30PM. See below for contact information.
  • Cowichan Valley Basket Society: Limited services. Sandwiches served from back loading dock Monday to Saturday: 12:00PM – 2:00PM. Hampers served Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 11:00AM – 1:30PM. Registration by phone preferred or at food bank starting at 9:00AM. Contact for more details. See below for contact information.
  • Hiiye’yu Lelum Society House of Friendship: Limited services. Food package delivery and meals are available depending on program delivery. Homelessness breakfast program happening daily. Pre and post-natal support available through Healthiest Babies program. Contact for more details. See below for more information.
  • Nourish Cowichan Society: Working with School District 79 to provide breakfasts to families while schools are temporarily closed. See below for contact information.
  • Lake Cowichan Food Bank: Limited food delivery, but services still available and offering grocery cards. See below for more information.
  • Ladysmith Resource Centre: Limited services. Food bank is currently open. Contact for more details. See below for contact information.
  • Meals on the Ground: Services still available, but location has temporarily moved to the parking lot (AKA: The “Mound”) on Government Street, Duncan. Contact for more details. See below for contact information.
  • Salvation Army Family Services: Services available Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM, including food hampers. Contact for more details. See below for contact information.
  • Starfish Pack Program: Working with School District 79 to get food backpacks to families while schools are temporarily closed. See below for contact information.
  • Sunday Sandwiches: Services still available, and offering bagged sandwiches outside BikeWorks on 51 Trunk Road Duncan. See below for more information.
  • Volunteer Cowichan: Working to connect those who require support in accessing food and essentials with those willing to volunteer. If you are in need or would like to volunteer please call 250-748-2133 ext. 0 and leave a message or email vc@volunteercowichan.bc.ca

We will continue to keep this list as up-to-date as possible as other food resources become available. In addition, please use the contact information listed below for each community food resource to stay informed.
Please note that emergency shelters remain open, including Warmland House, Somenos Transition House, and CWAVS’s Women’s Night Shelter, but food is only available for clients and residents.

Community Food Resources

Welcome to Cowichan Green Community’s listing of community food resources in the Cowichan region. Many of these organizations provide free food and other services for those in need. We do our best to keep this list up to date. However, if you would like your organization or activity listed on this site, or have a suggestion, please contact our team at info@cowichangreencommunity.org or 250-748-8506.

Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank

The Chemainus Harvest House runs two food banks each week, one in Chemainus and one in Crofton. The Chemainus Food Bank is held in the basement of the United Church on Willow Street in Chemainus on Thursdays 9:30AM – 11:30AM/ Fridays 11:30AM – 1:00PM. The Crofton Food Bank is run on Mondays, at the Warmland Center, in Crofton, from 9:30AM to 10:30AM. The Chemainus Food Bank assists residents of Chemainus, Thetis and Penelakut Islands and Saltair to the Lagoon Bridge. The Crofton Food Bank assists residents of Crofton, Westholm and along Chemainus Road as far as the Bald Eagle Campground. Applications for service take place at the food bank during food bank hours. Crofton or Westholm residents can apply on Mondays at the Warmland Center on Joan Avenue in Crofton. To register, please supply care cards for each family member, status number (if applicable), and proof of residency.

The Chemainus Harvest House also runs a Christmas Food Program, which involves food vouchers instead of food. The amount given depends on family size and can be claimed at the local 49th Parallel or Chemainus Foods grocery stores. The deadline varies each year. Please see local paper for information. People sign-up during their regular food bank time and place. Donations of canned goods, dry goods & fresh produce or monetary donations can be dropped off at Chemainus Food Bank on Thursdays 9:30AM – 12PM, Fridays 10:30AM – 1:30PM, or at the Crofton Food Bank on Mondays 9:30A, – 10:30AM.

CMS Food Bank Society

Every Tuesday between, 10am and 2pm, the CMS Food Bank Society provides food hampers for residents of Cobble Hill, Malahat, Mill Bay, and Shawnigan Lake. Bread is also available every Tuesday. The CMS Food Bank gladly accepts donations of non-perishables and produce which can be dropped off from 9am-2pm everyday.

The CMS Food Bank also offers a Christmas Hamper to residents in Cobble Hill, Malahat, Mill Bay, and Shawnigan Lake areas. Deadline for applications is December 1st and will be accepted at the food bank during regular hours.

Cowichan Community Kitchens

Cowichan Community Kitchens organizes and runs numerous community kitchens across the Cowichan region. It is a program of the Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship Society. Through the organization, groups consisting of 6 to 8 people will form and then meet twice a month to cook meals. During the first meeting, groups decide what they will cook and then draft a plan using grocery store flyers to stretch their budgets. The group calculates the total cost of their groceries, and decides who will do the shopping. During the second meeting, group members cook their meals together. The meals are healthy and hearty. Date, time, and location for the meetings varies and depends on the group. Cost of meals prepared are divided among participants with 50% subsidies provided for those who need it. There are no age restrictions. Single persons, as well as families, are welcome. Participants are responsible for getting to cooking destinations with containers needed for travel. Volunteers are asked to assist individuals with disabilities, as well as to perform other duties.

Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association

The Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association (CNHA) is an association of neighbours helping neighbours — financed by donations, and run on volunteer spirit. Located at 9806 Willow Street in Chemainus, BC, across from Water Wheel Park, their office is a few doors down from the Seniors’ Centre & the Harvest House Food Bank. Their office is open to the public from 1pm-5pm, Monday-Friday.

The CNHA provides home-made healthy soups on a weekly basis, free of charge. They also offer free bread, buns and, when available, pastry, they deliver free vegetables and fruit to seniors’ complexes weekly, and provide soup for individuals on special diets. Additionally, the CNHA also participates in the Good Food Box program where community members can order their 20 lbs of fruit and vegetables for $10. Sign-up and pick up takes place at their office.

Throughout the year, they offer cooking and canning classes for adults and youth. Check-out their website for details on upcoming workshops. They also provide emergency hampers throughout the year and offer a Christmas hamper. Contact their office for registration information and deadlines.

Cowichan Tribes – Elders & Healthy Lifestyle Program

Cowichan Tribes is the largest single First Nation Band in British Columbia, with over 4,900 members, providing a variety of services to the Cowichan community.

 Sul’hween Elders Program ensures that the Elders are well cared for and provided with the right environment to carry out their responsibilities to the community. Elders Lunch – Provide lunch to Elders twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday. ‘Uy Sultun Letsus – Provide affordable fruit and vegetables.

Program Website: Sul’hween Elders Program

Healthy Lifestyles Program provides diabetes education and prevention and chronic disease self-management education is available to individual community members, families or groups.

The Healthy Lifestyles Program provides:

  • Diabetes Education (Registered Dietitian and Registered Nurse available)
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Chronic Disease Self Management
  • Good Food Box (Uy’ Tsulhtun Le’tsus) once a month
  • Foot Care Nurse
  • Exercise classes
  • Cowichan Sweaters team for the Times Colonist 10K annually

Cowichan Valley Basket Society

The Cowichan Valley Basket Society (CVBS) distributes food hampers as a part of its Grocery Hamper Program. Hamper Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10am-1:30pm and the 2nd & 3rd Thursday of every month from 10:00am – 1:30pm. Bring BC Care Card to register. The CVBS also runs a soup kitchen. The kitchen is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. During the summer (June – September), the soup kitchen is open on Saturdays, 10 am-2pm. These programs are open to residents of Duncan. To participate in the programs, proof of address and care cards are required. Programs are free for those who qualify.

In mid December, a Christmas Dinner is held by CVBS. Contact the CVBS office regarding the date, seating times, and tickets.

The CVBS is a non-profit organization that depends on the support of residents of the Cowichan region. Volunteers welcome. Food donations of canned goods, dry goods, & fresh produce are always welcome. Food can be dropped off between 9AM and 4PM or a pick up can be arranged for large quantities.

Duncan Christian Reformed Church

On the last Saturday of each month, at 5 pm by the Duncan Christian Reformed Church, a community dinner is provided for no cost. It is open to anyone in the community.

Good Food Box Program

The Good Food Box Program’s main goal is to promote healthy eating in the Cowichan region. The program is available at The Warmland House and the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association, and can be ordered once per month. The cost is $10 for 20lbs of fresh produce. Payment must be made by cash and can be made at the following locations:

  • Duncan: 371 Festubert St – CMHA office
  • Duncan: 2579 Lewis St – Warmland House
  • Lake Cowichan: 121 Point Ideal Rd – Cowichan Lake Community Services
  • Chemainus: 9806 Willow St – Cowichan Neighborhood House

Deadline for Orders is: 2nd Wednesday of every month by 4:00pm, except at the Cowichan Neighbourhood House orders are due the Monday before the 2nd Wed of every month.

Pick-up: 3rd Monday of every month after 1pm at Warmland House and after 2pm at the Cowichan Neighbourhood House

The Good Food Box is a participant-driven program, so volunteers are always in need.

  • 2579 Lewis Street, Duncan, BC V9L 2Z2 (Warmland House)
  • 250-715-1132 or Teri @ 250-746-5521
  • The Good Food Box

Healthiest Babies Possible & Early Years

Healthiest Babies Possible & Early Years is a program of the Hiiye’yu Lelum Society House of Friendship which addresses the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people by providing holistic programs and services. It is a pregnancy outreach program supporting pregnant women of all ages living in the Cowichan region. Services are free and focus on healthy pregnancies and improved lifestyles through good nutrition. Access to nutritional counselling, prenatal education, dietician, and further services are available. The organization believes that each woman’s situation is unique and that she is the expert in her own life.

Hiiye’yu Lelum – House of Friendship

Promoting Wellness and Unity the Hiiye’yu Lelum addresses the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people by providing holistic programs and services. The House of Friendship hosts a variety of programs including the Cowichan Community Kitchens, Healthiest Babies possible and Early Years, daily breakfasts through the Homelessness Program, and many more than can be viewed on their website.

Homelessness Program at the Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship

Provides support service for absolutely homeless, as well as services that will help to prevent an individual and/or families from becoming homeless. Provide breakfast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6am – 9am. Provide coffee and muffins on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Provide laundry services on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 6am – 9am. Provide showers daily from 6am – 9am.

Ladysmith Resource Centre Association

The Ladysmith Resource Centre works to co-ordinate and provide services and information to enhance the quality of life of Ladysmith residents and the surrounding community. The centre’s programs include a soup kitchen program as well as a food bank. The Ladysmith Soup Kitchen runs out of Bethel Church (1149 4th Ave, Ladysmith), Side Bottom Door, 1149 – 4th Ave., Ladysmith on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Volunteers serve hot soup and sandwiches for 20-30 people each day. The soup kitchen program does not require sign-up. Ladysmith Food Bank is open to people who live in the V9G postal code area. The Food Bank is open every Tuesday 9:00 am to 11:45 am for distribution. The Food Bank is in need of volunteers and donations.

Lake Cowichan Christian Fellowship Church

The Lake Cowichan Christian Fellowship Church provides a community lunch at 12pm after their service on the 3rd Sunday of each month. There is no cost for those who would like to participate and it is open to anyone in the community. Bread is also available to anyone in need. For information on receiving bread, please call the church.

Lake Cowichan Food Bank

From January to November, the Lake Cowichan Food Bank distributes hampers on the second Wednesday of every month to anyone in need within the Lake Cowichan, Honeymoon Bay, and Youbou regions. Application forms for hampers can be obtained through Cowichan Lake Community Services, located at 121 Point Ideal Road. You must register at least two days before the day of distribution. Hampers are distributed between 2pm and 3:30pm store number 105 – 205 South Shore Road in Lake Cowichan.

December Christmas Hampers are distributed by the Cowichan Lake Community Services. Please call for more information: 250-749-6822. To volunteer or to donate to the Lake Cowichan Food Bank, please contact Cindy at 250-746-6239 or email cowichanlakefoodbank@gmail.com

  • Box 1087 # 105 – 205 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan, B.C. V0R 2G0 
  • Betty 250-749-4802 Cindy 250-746-6239
  • cowichanlakefoodbank@gmail.com
  • Cowichan Lake Community Services

Meals on the Ground

Meals on the Ground is a grassroots program that provides meals to those in the  Cowichan Valley who need more food security in their lives. Meals are served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Duncan United Church. The doors open at 4pm.

All of the meals are made and donated by community members and groups. If you are interested in preparing a meal, please call, 250-710-0351.

  • Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram Street, Duncan in Burns Hall 
  • 250-710-0351

Meals on Wheels

Hot nutritious meals delivered to your home by a caring volunteer Monday to Saturday. Clients are required to be registered prior to accessing the program. Call (250) 737-2004 to register. Cost is $6.25/meal, available Monday to Saturday with option for a frozen meal for Sundays. Program is volunteer run and always looking for more volunteers. Run by the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation

  • 135 Third Street Duncan, BCV9L 1R9
  • (250) 715-6481

Nourish Cowichan Society

Nourish Cowichan is a society that provides nutritious breakfasts to school children of the Cowichan Valley, supporting them in reaching their full potential. Nourish works with schools in the community to ensure all children have access to healthy food. See the website for further details on the programs offered.

Salvation Army Family Services

The Salvation Army, in Duncan, runs a number of programs. They also run an emergency food program for people in need or who have used up their food bank hamper. An appointment must be made, and a meeting held with the Salvation Army to discuss eligibility. Every Christmas the Salvation Army runs a Christmas Hamper program, supplying a hamper of food and toys to low-income families. Registrations must be in by the end of November and sign up changes year to year so those interested should ask at the store location for sign up information. Please check around town for posters announcing with more details. The Salvation Army is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5:00pm

  • 280 Trans Canada Hwy Duncan, BC  V9L 3P9
  • 250-746-7032 or 250-746-8669 ext. 10 for Family Services.
  • sarmyf.services@shaw.ca
  • Salvation Army

The Sassy Lion Thrift Store

An initiative of the Duncan Lion’s Club, bread is available on Wednesday mornings, by donation, from 10am until it is gone. The Sassy Lion Thrift Store is open from Monday-Friday, 10:00am-4:30pm.

Starfish Pack Program

A program started in Abbotsford that has been implemented here in the Cowichan Valley by four Rotary Clubs and is now a program of Nourish Cowichan Society. Starfish works closely with School District 79 to ensure students have access to healthy food. Volunteers pack healthy meals and snacks into backpacks for the participants to take home on the weekend. The backpacks full of donated food are packed by volunteers and delivered on Thursdays to participating schools, and the children take them home on Friday. Donations can be made to the Nourish Cowichan Society, $525 feeds one child all school year!

Sunday Sandwiches

Sandwiches are prepared by volunteers and distributed to community members every Sunday from 1 – 2pm at BikeWorks, located at 51 Trunk Rd. They have a facebook group with a sign-up sheet to volunteer and donate.

Warmland House

Warmland House provides a 30 bed emergency shelter for those without housing and 24 minimal barrier transitional housing studio apartments. The Warmland House has commercial kitchen and dining area that serves up to 50 people, and a community garden with raised beds and a large greenhouse. Serves residents breakfast and dinner everyday and serves lunch on Sundays.

  • 371 Festubert Street, Duncan
  • 250-746-5521
  • cmhacvb@cmha.bc.ca
  • Warmland House

Valley Seniors Organization of Duncan

Offer a lunch program with a menu that changes daily. The meals are available for anyone 55 years old and over. To use the services you must be a member, which cost $25.00 and gives you access to all of the programs offered. Soups are $2.00, sandwiches are $1.50, desserts range from $2.50 – $3.50 and coffee is $1.00.

Additional Resources

Funders