This is a joint news release issued on behalf of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and the Prince Edward County Food Hub.
August 31, 2018—A 5-year lease is now in place between Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and Prince Edward County Food Hub for use of space at Sophiasburgh Central School in Prince Edward County.
Through this lease, PECFH (the County Food Hub) will convert a portion of the west side of the building (5,800 square feet, or the equivalent of five classrooms and storage space) into a food-based community hub.
The County Food Hub will service small-scale start up food operations, established caterers, food trucks, restaurants, the local agricultural community, entrepreneurs and not-for-profit food security organizations.
Services to be offered include the following:
- Shared use commercial kitchen for rental and/or use by businesses and community groups
- Food incubator for agricultural operations
- Business support services for users
- Food education and cooking classes available to community members
The public, businesses and not-for-profit organizations will be able to rent, at a reasonable cost, a health unit-certified shared commercial kitchen for the safe preparation of food items to support growing businesses and growing food needs in the local community. There will also be longer-term incubation space leased to qualified local/regional food producers, assisting them in scaling up operations to grow their businesses.
This partnership was set in motion during an accommodation review of some Prince Edward County schools that concluded in June 2017. It was following that process that the HPEDSB Board of Trustees provided time for the community group to develop a plan to convert surplus space at the school into a food-based community hub.
The construction planning and renovations will take place over the next year with the food hub facility expected to be open for summer 2019.
Sophiasburgh Central School has approximately 130 students in Grades JK-8.
A media event will be held in the coming days, details to come next week.
“This is an exciting and significant partnership between the school board and the County. I am so proud of the hard work that has been done over the past several months as both parties continue to be committed to this work. The safety, as well as the success and well-being of our students, will be a priority as this new venture moves forward. Thank you to everyone who has made this partnership happen.” — Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board.
“We are thrilled the Prince Edward County Food Hub and the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board have reached this important milestone in their partnership. The Prince Edward County community recognized early on the potential for the County Food Hub to leverage our strengths in local food, agriculture and community involvement to develop a unique and potentially trendsetting approach to rural education. We are proud to support this worthwhile initiative. I want to congratulate the County Food Hub volunteers and the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board trustees and staff for working together to develop a solution that protects our unique rural character and enriches our community.” — Robert Quaiff, Mayor, County of Prince Edward
“It is with extreme satisfaction and excitement that we enter into the next stage of this practical and innovative use of surplus space within an active rural school. We thank the mayor, Council and Community Development offices of Prince Edward County for their tireless dedication to this project, and we thank the HPEDSB staff and trustees for their partnership. Together with our hard-working community volunteers, generous local and regional supporters, politicians at all levels of government, leaders in the regional service and culinary industry, and parents in the region, we are poised to make a difference here in Prince Edward County and the Bay of Quinte. You show people just a little ray of light and it’s amazing how many new rays of light join in.” — Mike Farrell, President of the Prince Edward County Food Hub
For information, please contact:
- Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, [email protected], 613.966.1170, x62354
- Mike Farrell, President, Prince Edward County Food Hub, [email protected], 416.938.0673
- Mark Kerr, Media and Communications Coordinator, The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward, [email protected], 613.476.2148, x1009