Regina Food Bank will have fresh produce year-round thanks to support from Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and the Regina Food Bank (RFB) are joining forces to fight food insecurity and advance indoor agriculture in Saskatchewan.

It was announced Wednesday morning the Regina Food Bank will have a modular produce growing container at its Winnipeg Street location in Regina, thanks to a contribution from FCC.

CEO of the Food Bank John Bailey said FCC provided $250-thousand for the acquisition of the container, which is described as 42-feet in length with four growing racks that can support shallow-root produce such as lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries.

The container has the potential to yield up to 600 heads of lettuce per week, according to a news release. This will allow the Food Bank to have a steady source of fresh produce year-round. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, the Food Bank got produce from other sources.

Bailey says there are plans to eventually expand to more than one container.

“It can scale up to four of these units in a pod and then we can fill up a number of pods on our property, so there’s a real chance this can take on quite a large (scale) once its up-and-running.” added Bailey.

The Food Bank noted what will help in this endeavour is an alliance formed with the recently announced “Growth Board” consisting of Economic Development Regina, the University of Regina, One Hoop, and City of Regina.

“Projects like this are exactly what we hope the Growth Board can continue to deliver for Regina. Innovative, unique, and partner-driven,” said EDR President & CEO Chris Lane. “EDR is excited about the future of indoor agriculture not only for this great community project, but also because it shows Regina is ready to be a leader in a new sector of food production.”

Bailey also thanked Farm Credit Canada for their support.

“This is a significant step forward for our Food Bank just in terms of being able to control how we get the food we need and it’s such an amazing partnership with FCC; we’d literally would not be able to get it done without them, so their support in this is incredible. Knowing that it’s not just about providing food for our Food Bank – which is a huge step forward for us – but it’s about moving forward the sustainability and innovation of agriculture in the region is a really exciting prospect for us and FCC has been a really great partner in that.”

“The challenges in front of us require a new outlook, new ideas, and exciting innovations. FCC is proud to support this containerized agriculture project where fresh, nutritious food is locally grown and accessible for those in need,” said Justine Hendricks, FCC president and CEO. “The Regina Food Bank is leading the way in innovating how we produce and provide food, proving what is possible when we work together to address hunger in our communities.”

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