June 2 - 17, 2018

COMPLETED Food Rescue Processing Kitchen


The Mustard Seed & Food Share Network

Project Overview

The Mustard Seed and Food Share Network operate the Food Security Distribution Centre, rescuing food from grocery stores and redistributing it to over forty agencies, benefiting tens of thousands of people a month. However,  there is still approximately 85,000 pounds of perishable food waste per year. HeroWork built a processing kitchen, which is able to turn half this waste into soups, stocks, and preserves to be delivered to schools, soup kitchens, community centres, churches, etc.  In addition, other organizations will use the kitchen, teaching food literacy, cooking, and more.

Scope of work for this project included remediation, excavation, sewers and drains, 3-phase power and electrical, flooring, fibreglass walls, stainless steel appliances, roof work, gas and plumbing, drop ceilings, communications, fire suppression, custom hood, venting, new offices, new bathrooms, and much more.

Approximate fair market retail value: $450,000.

People Impacted

In the end, the work we do is all for the people impacted. A Radical Renovation ripples out change on many levels: through the people and companies who participate in our events, the partner charity’s staff and volunteers gain better working conditions and lower operating costs. The surrounding neighbourhood benefits from better infrastructure. But the biggest impact of all is the vulnerable people who are served.

HeroWork Sponsors: 76

HeroWork Volunteers: 245 (2,410 hours)

Food Share Network Agencies: 62

Meals to be Produced in 2018: 800/month

Meals to be Produced in 2019 and beyond: Up to 4000/month

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Food Share Network

About the Mustard Seed

About the Mustard Seed

Since 1975, The Mustard Seed’s purpose has been to be an integral part in fighting hunger, poverty and marginalization for thousands of people struggling in the Greater Victoria region. The Mustard Seed is a community offering a continuum of care that operates:

- The Hospitality Centre for relationship building and advocacy;

- Vancouver Island’s largest food bank, which serves over 5000 people a month;

- The Family Centre, which supports and empowers families; and

- The Hope Farm Healing Centre, an addictions recovery program in Duncan.

- Collaborate with Food Share Network…ADD MORE.

Their mission is to build a resilient community and maintain relationships, all while providing these essential and transformative services to those in need.

About Food Share Network

About Food Share Network

The Food Share Network is an innovative umbrella that enhances food security in the Capital Region through collaboration and cooperation among food banks, community centres, donors and other participating organizations. Participating organizations share the common values of empowerment, dignity and respect, food and community, stewardship, and collective impact. There is a broad consensus on shifting the focus toward food security and self-reliance as a means to create a healthier and more resilient population.

Download their Action Plan here:

About Victoria Foundation

About Victoria Foundation

The Victoria Foundation matched $100K raised by Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria for a total of $200K, which made the creation of the Food Security Distribution Center possible in 2017. Without their involvement the facility in which HeroWork will build a community commercial kitchen wouldn't exist.

Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $196 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions


What will the Mustard Seed prepare in this kitchen?

• They plan to make soups, stocks and preserves from perishable food items that don’t make the cut for the distribution boxes. These products will be vacuum sealed and distributed through regular channels to recipient agencies at no charge. This will be accomplished by Mustard Seed staff and volunteers who have been specifically trained to work in the kitchen program.

• In the future they plan to develop products that can be sold under the Mustard Seed brand like The Mustard Seed Coffee Co. This will help the Mustard Seed to become more self-sufficient.

Who else will use the kitchen?

• How will the kitchen be used and by who? Mustard Seed volunteers or staff or both? Outside stakeholders (like a chef giving cooking lessons)? What will be the ratio between staff and volunteers?

How many people will be impacted by this project?

• Currently there are over 50 partners with the Food Share Network, directly benefiting over 35,000 people per month. While we are still determining the exact number of people that will be impacted directly by the kitchen, it is thousands of people a month.

Who is the Food Share Network?

• The Food Share Network is an innovative umbrella that enhances food security in the Capital Region through collaboration and cooperation among food banks, community centres, donors and other participating organizations. Participating organizations share the common values of empowerment, dignity and respect, food and community, stewardship, and collective impact. There is a broad consensus on shifting the focus toward food security and self-reliance as a means to create a healthier and more resilient population.

What is the relationship between the Mustard Seed and the Food Share Network? 

• Both the Mustard Seed and the Food Share Network work together, operating multiple programs from the same warehouse in Esquimalt at 808 Viewfield Road. Together they organize and operate the Food Rescue program and the Give Food Get Food program. Together they impact over 50 organizations and tens of thousands of people every month.

• In addition, the Mustard Seed uses the warehouse as a distribution center for their Queens Ave hamper program that monthly serves over 5,000 people.

• Together, they are a model of community cooperation and collaboration.

How will the kitchen be staffed?

• The Mustard Seed will hire a kitchen coordinator, who will manage the schedule, ensure adherence to VIHA food safety plans, coordinate volunteers and maintain quality control. The staff volunteer ratio will be 1:4 to start, with more volunteers added as need dictates through program development.

What is the list of organizations served by the Food Share Network?

- 910 Club
- Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness
- Aids Vancouver Island
- Anawim House
- Beacon Community Services
- Beecher Bay
- Burnside Gorge Community Centre
- Capital Region Housing
- Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses
- Cook Street Village Activity Centre
- Uvic Community Cabbage
- CRFAIR (Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable)
- The Cridge Centre for the Family
- Esquimalt First Nation
- Esquimalt High School
- Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society
- Farm to School
- Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (NRG)
- Goldstream Food Bank
- Her Way Home
- Inter Tribal Health Authority
- Island Community Mental Health
- James Bay Community Centre
- James Bay Community Project
- James Bay New Horizons Society
- Lifecycles
- Living Edge
- Oaklands Community Centre

- One Up - Single Parents Resource Centre
- Our Place Society
- Pacheedaht First Nation
- Pacifica Housing
- Pauquachin First Nation
- Quadra Village Community Centre
- Rainbow Kitchen
- Saanich Neighbourhood Place
- Salvation Army – ARC
- Salvation Army - Stan Hagen
- Sanctuary Youth Center
- School District 61
- School District 62
- Shelbourne Community Kitchen
- Sidney Lions Food Bank
- Silverthreads
- Songhees First Nation
- Sooke Family Resource Society
- Sooke Food Bank
- St John the Divine
- St Peter St Paul Church
- St. Vincent de Paul
- The Mustard Seed Street Church
- Threshold Housing Society
- Tsartlip First Nation
- Tsawout Learning House
- Tseycum First Nation
- University of Victoria Student Society

Our 2018 Partners

Without these people & companies we wouldn't be able to organize and complete our 2018 Radical Renovations. Thank you to each of them!

Acknowledge Them

Basic Renovation Details

Commercial Kitchen:
A new commercial kitchen will be built to accommodate the long-term requirements of the food network
Commercial double doors will be installed
Walls will be strapped drywall and finished in fiberglass reinforced panels for easy maintenance
Stainless steel insulated panels on pony walls by stoves
New fiber reinforced panel drop ceiling installed
New lighting installed
Kitchen floor will be freshly poured concrete and polished
 Appliances will include:
 - Dual gas commercial convection ovens
 - Gas commercial Steam Kettle
 - Gas commercial tilting skillet
 - Dual commercial six burner gas ranges with convection ovens
 - Gas commercial salamander broiler
 - Dual commercial gas steamer ovens
 - Refrigerated preparation table
 - Wooden top carving table
 - Ice machine
 - 30 litre commercial mixer
 - Commercial vacuum sealer
 - Triple commercial stainless steel washing sinks
 - Hand wash sinks
 - Preparation sinks
 - Stainless steel shelving
 - Assorted accessories
 - Stainless steel, refrigerated and wooden carving top counters with stainless steel storage below will be installed around the perimeter walls

Plumbing, Gas Fitting and Ducting:
Changes to the building will include:
 - New floor drains cut in for appliances, kitchen sinks and kitchen floors
 - Large commercial grease interceptor installed in the floor
 - Water run to sinks, steamer and pot fillers
 - New gas line and valves run across roof and down to appliances (quick change flexible fittings)
 - Commercial range hoods with external draw fan and air replacement installed
 - Fire suppression installed in range hoods

New stainless steel cabinetry installed under counters in kitchen
Stainless steel wall mounted shelving in kitchen

Existing single poorly designed bathroom with door off the new kitchen area will be closed in and to new 36 inch doors will access to separate washrooms from the main warehouse area
Changes will include:
 - New sink and toilet
- Paint
- New lighting
- Fire sensors and strobe
 - Occupancy sensors
 - Handicap bars

Electrical changes and upgrades:
New 3 phase sub panel run to kitchen area
Dedicated distributed 1 phase and 3 phase dedicated circuits routed into kitchen
 New outlets, lighting and high draw hood fans installed
 Fire sensors and new fixtures

 Running man emergency fire exits
 Panic bars; lever handles on doors

 The front entrance landscaped so that the entrance accents the community environmental purpose of the building

 Main reception area will be redesigned and finished to create an appealing entrance
 The office will re-finished, repainted and decorated
 Furniture and desks will be replaced
 A drop ceiling will be installed in offices, lunchroom and entrance hallways
 New lighting will be installed in the drop ceiling
 Fire sprinkler system will be modified to seamlessly integrate with drop ceiling

Every Donation Helps Rebuild Another Charity

Infrastructure Matters

HeroWork always has new projects on the go. Charities need renovations to make their buildings and spaces good so that they can deliver their mandates. Only Herowork can renovate buildings quickly and efficiently at a fraction of traditional costs.

Community Matters

Using a model akin to a modern-day barn raising, HeroWork inspired community participation, leaving stronger networks and more reliant neighbourhoods.

All Donations Go to Project Supplies

Here is an approximate percentage breakdown of where your donation will be spent across a typical project.

  • 82% renovation materials
  • 2% renovation labour
  • 4% professional fees
  • 4% design supplies
  • 0% design labour
  • 2% event supplies
  • 0% event labour
  • 1% printing
  • 4% permits
  • 1% general costs

These estimations are based on HeroWork’s historical experience of past projects and may not correspond directly to any specific project.

Grants and seed money from recipient organizations cover our operations costs, so 100% of your donation will go to rebuilding charity spaces.


An Issue of Food Security

Our community sees the effects of household food insecurity on a daily basis. Inadequate or insecure access to food because of financial constraints, is a significant social and health problem in Canada. In 2012, 4 million individuals in Canada, including 1.15 million children, experienced some level of food insecurity. This represents nearly 13% of Canadian households.

Households with children under the age of 18 were at greater risk for food insecurity than households without children (15.6% versus 11.4%). Food insecure households include 1.15 million children, or 16% of all children under the age of 18. This means that household food insecurity affected nearly one in every six children in Canada in 2012.

Seventy percent of households whose major source of income was social assistance were food insecure, as were 38.4% of those reliant on Employment Insurance or Workers’ Compensation. However, the majority of food insecure households (62.2%) were reliant on wages or salaries from employment. Other household characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of food insecurity included being a female lone parent (34.3% were food insecure), having an income below the Low Income Measure (29.0%), being black (27.8%), being Aboriginal (28.2%), and renting rather than owning one’s home (26.1%).

See the full report on food security here.

Having access to the produce on a weekly basis helps to provide for our family.

Food Rescue Project participant

The veggies and fruit is so appreciated and really helps out financially. HYCH-KA- SEIM

Food Rescue Project participant

I could not afford fresh produce and fruit without the help of the program.

Food Rescue Project participant

It is so nice to receive this food. To know that at least once a month I don't have to walk to go and get good because sometimes I just can't...

Food Rescue Project participant