Central Food Network (CFN) says its food van project “has revolutionized food distribution locally.”

The project, funded through a grant from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund and donations from the Rotary Club of Haliburton, 100.9 CanoeFM radio bingo proceeds, and private donors, has exceeded all expectations, executive director Tina Jackson said.

The amount required for the van was funded faster than anticipated, she added, highlighting the support and dedication of the community.

“Since rolling onto Central Food Network’s lot seven months ago, the cargo van has been a game-changer, transporting an astounding 105,619 lbs of food with an estimated value of $371,779. Additionally, it has facilitated over 40 deliveries to other local food banks, diversifying the food available for all members of the community,” Jackson said.

“This cargo van is not only empowering us to reach more individuals in need but also enables us to better collaborate with neighboring food banks, maximizing the impact of our collective efforts at a time when its most needed,” said Tina Jackson, Executive Director of Central Food Network.”

The grant from Agriculture and AgriFood Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund provided essential support, while the contributions from local organizations and individuals demonstrated the community’s united effort to address food access issues, Jackson said.

Aaron Hill of Rotary Club of Haliburton said, “Food security in our communities is very important to us, and we’re proud to have played a part in this important initiative. The success of the food cargo van project underscores the impact that can be achieved when organizations and individuals come together to support their community.”

The majority of the food being transported is surplus food within the food bank network, highlighting the impact of food banks, food distributors and food producers in Ontario working together to ensure no food goes to waste, Jackson said.

“Central Food Network remains committed to its mission of eliminating food insecurity in the Haliburton Highlands. The cargo van represents a significant step forward in achieving this goal by improving food distribution and ensuring that no one in the community goes hungry.”

For more information about CFN and its initiatives, visit centralfoodnetwork.org or contact Tina Jackson at 705-448-9711.