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October 4, 2022
The Prince Rupert Port Authority’s (PRPA) Community Investment Fund has collaborated with the Gitga’at First Nation to upgrade and expand a cooperative community kitchen in the heart of Txalgiu (Hartley Bay). The project enables larger-scale food production and opens new culinary training opportunities for people of all ages in the community. The overhauled space also strengthens food security and supports traditional cultural values and practices by providing a more suitable venue for transferring knowledge and processing sustainable resources, such as plants, fish, and animals, harvested by the Nation.
Conveniently located steps away from the community’s greenhouse, in a space adjacent to the local gymnasium, the revitalized kitchen replaces and reconfigures the previous kitchen and concession area that had been used for several decades. Efforts to convert the kitchen to a commercial-grade facility were launched prior to the pandemic, but much of the work was completed while Txalgiu was in isolation to limit the spread of Covid-19. Though multiple supply challenges were faced during the process, they served to reinforce key objectives of the project – namely, to become more self-reliant and reduce the community’s dependence on groceries transported by barge.
With a more efficient floorplan and upgraded fixtures, surfaces, and appliances – including new stainless-steel countertops, LED lighting, cabinetry, flooring, commercial-grade dishwasher, freezer, and a pair of convection ovens – the space is better equipped to accommodate different groups and families and handle bigger tasks. The total cost of the renovation was $126,244; PRPA’s Community Investment Fund contributed $78,870 to the project.
“The modernized kitchen is safer, cleaner, and more welcoming for community members, particularly our elders,” said Cam Hill, Gitga’at First Nation Councillor. “These changes significantly enhance the ability to share traditional harvesting knowledge and teach younger generations how to process healthy food here on our territory to feed and to benefit our people.”
“The cooperative community kitchen project aligns with the Community Investment Fund’s mandate in numerous ways, and we’re honoured to support the Gitga’at First Nation’s efforts to establish greater food sustainability, cultural education, and culinary training opportunities,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We hope to continue to build on this partnership and work together on further developing food security on the North Coast.”
PRPA’s Community Investment Fund has contributed to several past projects which enhance food security and sustainability across the North Coast region:
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