“This place has kept my children and I eating healthy. There have been times where this has been all we have.” A community centre built around good food The Nelson Community Food Centre puts food at the centre of better health, better skills, and better belonging. Kids get their hands dirty in the garden and cook up delicious meals together in the kitchen. Neighbours gather during Tuesday Lunches and Thursday Night Family Dinners to share a meal. Volunteers tend to the gardens, which serve up bushels of fresh produce that are used in programs and taken home. Through its programs and welcoming space, The Nelson Community Food Centre gives community members who are living on low incomes the opportunity to improve their physical health, make new friends and feel less isolated, and contribute to the community. 96% of community members surveyed say the CFC gives them better access to healthy food. 76% of people say they're eating more fruits and vegetables since they started coming to programs. And 86% of people say they feel like they belong to a community there. An innovative partnership The Nelson Food Cupboard provided frontline services to the Nelson community -- where 20% of residents live below the poverty line -- for 18 years before becoming a Community Food Centre in 2018. In response to community needs, it expanded its offerings to include community meals; cooking and gardening sessions; a food bank focused on providing fresh, healthy food; a Harvest Rescue program to gather and share local, excess fruit; and education programs for kids, all of which are offered in a newly renovated space.