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One of Victoria's oldest and most well-known food banks has secured a permanent distribution centre to send sustenance where it's needed most.

The Mustard Seed partnered with the province to snap up the building on Viewfield Road in Esquimalt, which will serve as the hub for its Food Security Distribution Network. 

The building will be the central collection point for the Food Share Network, which is made up of more than 50 organizations including non-profits, First Nations, and school districts that operate food security programs in the capital.

The Mustard Seed purchased the space, which they’ve leased since 2017, with the help of $2 million in provincial funding

“The partners in the Food Share Network have collaborated to create an innovative solution that keeps food on the plates of people who need it most,” said B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham.

More than 4,000 pounds of fresh food from grocery stores will pass through the centre each day and be re-distributed to Food Share Network programs across the region with the goal of reducing food waste.

“When we waste food, we waste all of the additional resources it takes to get it to our tables," Popham said.

The Mustard Seed and the Victoria Foundation intend to use the new space to expand services beyond the traditional food bank model.

"We're working closely with other organizations to make the distribution centre an integral part of a sweeping network of services that provide fresh, healthy produce to families and connect them with programs that support opportunities in food literacy, education, employment and more," says Mustard Seed executive director Derek Pace.

According to the province, the centre distributes roughly 545,000 kilograms of food annually throughout Greater Victoria.