Old Quebec Church To Be Converted to Greenhouse To Combat Food Insecurity [Pictures]

Amid the early days of the pandemic, Jean Champagne and his family in Beauceville, Quebec, found an inspiring way to combat food insecurity by creating a non-profit called “Cultiver pour partager” (Growing to Share)

Concerned about rising food prices and the affordability of fresh produce, they decided to grow food in the summer and collect surplus vegetables from local farms, which would otherwise go to waste. They donate their harvest to the local food bank, Moisson Beauce, with an emphasis on providing fresh produce.

Now, Cultiver pour partager is expanding with a new headquarters in an old church in Saint-Alfred, Quebec, which they purchased for $1. This opportunity presented itself as they were searching for space to store fresh vegetables in 2021. 

The church’s sale became known to Champagne through a local priest and was seen as a spiritual sign. The church was deconsecrated in November 2022, but the sales contract includes clauses specifying that the building must be used for activities aligned with Catholic church values.

Cultiver pour partager plans to transform the church into a facility with a cold room to store up to 75,000 kilograms of fresh produce, along with spaces for washing, packaging, and greenhouse areas. These renovations will allow Moisson Beauce to double its storage space and distribute fresh produce year-round. The project is funded in part by the provincial government and commercial and private investors.

The initiative is a creative solution to fight food insecurity, reduce food waste, and expand support for those in need. The project reflects the spirit of giving back and a family’s commitment to volunteering and using their skills to help people during challenging times.

Jean Champagne outside the church | CBC

Jean Champagne inside the church | CBC

Exterior of the church | CBC

Interior of the church | CBC

Full details at CBC News.

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