Three years of Community-Powered Local Food

Fernie, BC – Wildsight Elk Valley’s social enterprise food store, Local, is three years old. The Fernie storefront was founded to increase year-round local food access, encouraging local communities to support small farmers and food producers in the area. 

Wildsight Elk Valley has released Local’s third Annual Impact Report, demonstrating continued growth and a positive impact in the store’s third year. Over $304,000 was paid to small farms and food producers in 2023, 42% of which stayed in the Elk Valley. Over 110 different types of local vegetables and fruit were sold in 2023, as well as the popular farm-fresh eggs, honey, meat, and prepared foods that line Local’s shelves. 

2023 also saw the launch of Feed the Need, a year-round community fundraiser. Donations to Feed the Need provide Local store gift cards to low-income households in the Elk Valley, in partnership with the Fernie Women’s Resource centre. According to Local Store Manager Jennifer Lennon: “This year-round fundraising effort provides ongoing support to those at risk of food insecurity in our community, further increasing local food access.” So far, 50 households have been able to access fresh, locally-grown food through the program. Donations to Feed the Need can be made at the till at Local, or online at Tax receipts are available. 

Wildsight Elk Valley would like to thank all of their dedicated volunteers, vendors, Fresh Picks Club and Feed the Need donors, and customers, who support the store with their time and attention, donations, and passion for local food security. 

Wildsight Elk Valley aims to cultivate a thriving, knowledgeable, and resilient local food culture in the Elk Valley through education, advocacy, and community engagement. Local is a social enterprise aiming to provide a more sustainable alternative to imported industrially grown food through the support of local farmers and producers.