Nourish History

Our Journey

Nourish Cowichan Society emerged in response to the staggering reality of children attending school without a meal.

HomeNourish History
  • 2016 Growing Roots In October 2016, Nourish's roots took hold, and by March 2017, it blossomed into a full-fledged charity organization. Co-founders Fatima Da Silva, Dina Holbrook, and Anita Carroll initiated their mission by introducing breakfast to a single school as a pilot project. The transformative effects were evident as teachers and aides observed immediate improvements in the students. The undeniable link between hunger, energy levels, and academic focus became apparent.

    Word spread quickly, and requests from neighbouring schools flooded in. In the initial two years, meals were prepared in a modest kitchen at Fatima's restaurant. However, the escalating demand soon outgrew the available space, prompting the need for a larger infrastructure to cater to every child in need.
  • 2017 Nourish Expansion Nourish Cowichan forms a partnership with the SD79 and secures a space to build a new kitchen. The partnership was announced after the Board of Education approved a motion brought forward during a special board meeting held on June 29th 2017.

    A former metal shop at École Mount Prevost in Duncan will gain new life thanks to a partnership between the Cowichan Valley School District (SD79) and the Nourish Cowichan Society. The non-profit organization plans to convert the space into a food preparation facility to feed more kids in the district.
  • 2019 Gaining Momentum After an extensive renovation, Nourish Cowichan moves into the new kitchen.

    In 2020 the Covid pandemic hit shutting down every school. The Nourish Cowichan program pivots and more than triples its reach. With a quick response from the organization, and the help of Cowichan Valley School District (SD79), 4 other kitchens were opened and immediately started providing hampers to food-insecure students and their families.

    6,255 food hampers were donated to families between March and September 2020. From starting with just a breakfast program Nourish has expanded to providing breakfast, lunch, snacks and weekend programs.

    Dina and Anita have since stepped down.
  • 2024 Looking Forward At present, Nourish boasts a dedicated team of over 70 volunteers committed to ensuring that a remarkable 1,800 children across 23 schools receive nourishing meals, all at no cost to the schools of SD79. Beyond daily meals, the organization extends its impact by providing non-perishable weekend grocery bags to support students in need.

    Our primary focus remains providing school meals to students, our organization has been focusing on food equity advocacy, sharing knowledge with other school food programs across BC and Canada, building food sources sustainability and mapping a way to universal food programs for our children.
Hands old and young supporting each other

Who We Are

Meet Our Board & Staff Members

Our Board of Directors and Staff Members comprises vibrant and passionate individuals from the Cowichan Valley community.

Help Us Make A Difference

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With your support, we can continue our mission of fostering community nourishment, ensuring that every contribution directly impacts the lives of those we serve.