Skip to content

VIDEO: Food security ramps up with fresh produce at B.C. elementary school

The Hub offers ‘barrier-free’ food, hygiene products, support to 140 families at Central Elementary

A food-security program called The Hub is adding fresh produce to its free offerings for families of Central Elementary School.

Central principal Donna Arnold says The Hub has been providing a “barrier-free access zone” for 140 Central families to pick up food, hygiene products, as well as community connection and referrals.

Parents can stop by for some fresh broccoli and apples, frozen soup, and a box of Kraft Dinner for example, and head home with their kids.

New Hub partners that have recently come on board include, Produce Gone Wild, and The Book Man, which are joining existing partners, like Chilliwack Bowls of Hope and the Starfish Backpack Program.

“So now we’re able to offer fresh produce, and it’s going to mean a lot to our families,” Arnold said.

“If we can provide those things at no cost to families, and with no judgement, it just helps their dollar go a little bit further to support their families.”

The Hub was launched inside the school in 2023 with basic pantry items, and has grown from there.

“We just wanted to provide them with a one-stop shop,” Arnold said. “They’re already coming for their kiddos. Why not come and grab whatever else they need from here?”

The latest Hub partners, along with a full-sized fridge donated by the Dogwood Monarch Lions, are ramping up what they can accomplish together in terms of inflation-busting support to Central families, with added nutritional value.

The Book Man owner Amber Price stressed that fresh fruits and vegetables “are integral” to our health and well-being.

“But with rising costs of living they can be difficult to afford,” Price said, adding that the local business “is choosing to transmute their holiday season profits into helping to create positive change at Central Elementary.”

Sharlynn Seabrook of the Dogwood Monarch Lions and The Book Man owner Amber Price showing some of the fresh produce newly available to Central families at The Hub. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

Central Elementary parent Jessica Redhead said being able to shop for groceries at no cost is a “huge” help to her family.

“It’s great to have this because my little one loves her fresh veggies, and it’s always hard because I live on disability and child tax,” she said.

“So this helps a huge amount, especially with the price of groceries nowadays.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack couple builds bucket list after ‘surreal’ $1M lotto win

Sharlynn Seabrook of the Dogwood Monarch Lions with the fridge they donated to the Hub at Central Elementary School. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
Read more