The Valley Food and Farm Collective, whose offerings include weekly farmers’ markets starting in April, recently held a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The Valley Food and Farm Collective, whose offerings include weekly farmers’ markets starting in April, recently held a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Valley Food and Farm Collective raises $10,000 in crowdfunding campaign

Abbotsford non-profit to use funds for projects that include food symposium

The Valley Food and Farm Collective (VFF) has reached the $10,000 goal of its recent Kickstarter campaign.

The funds will be used to support the launch and growth of the VFF’s key initiatives, which include a Fraser Valley local food certification, The Rail District Community Market, and Grounded Food Symposium.

VFF hosts Grounded at University of the Fraser Valley on April 29. The event will feature TED Talk-style presentations and interactive breakout sessions.

VFF executive director Kathleen Robinson said they have been grateful for the outpour of support received from the community since launching last June.

“We’ve been blown away by the show of support we’ve received. We’re humbled by the support and encouragement to keep this project going, and excited for the potential of what this will become,” she said.

Robinson said VFF – located at 2518 West Railway St. – is especially thankful for a significant contribution from Infinity Properties, which helped push the Kickstarter campaign over the finish line during its final day.

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Tim Bontkes, Infinity Properties president has been a key proponent of VFF’s launch, providing $30,000 in start-up support to the organization.

“We’re grateful to have Infinity Properties authentically investing into this community; we’re excited for this partnership and to work together to build our community,” said Josh Vanderheide, VFF founder and vice-president.

VFF also welcomes a new president, Mark Allan, and new additions to the board of directors: Councillor Sandy Blue, Craig Toews, Kelly Railton, Kristina Van Bommel van Vloten, Miranda Chiasson, Marina Gibson and Loren Taves

Vanderheide, outgoing president, said he is excited to have someone of Allan’s expertise join the organization.

“Mark comes with a lot of great experience, including 16 years as president and CEO of the Regina Exhibition. He’s graciously offered to fill the role as President of VFF and, with a new board of directors in place, we are excited for what the future holds for VFF in 2019 and beyond,” Vanderheide said.

Allan said the VFF’s vision – “Using food to transform our community” – is what attracted him to the organizaton.

“I am proud to have the opportunity to help enable the VFF to act as a connection point for the Valley to foster a Valley food culture that attracts the community and visitors from near and far, celebrating and taking advantage of where we live and what we grow locally,” he said.

Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are still available for the Grounded Food Symposium.

Weekly Thursday markets will return in late April. For information on becoming a vendor, email info@valleyfoodandfarm.com.

More information is also available on the VFF Facebook page.