Press Release March 24, 2023
Health Kimberley Opposes Proposed McDonald’s in Marysville
By: Jeff Vallance, Ph.D., Board Member, Healthy Kimberley
We at Healthy Kimberley are concerned about recent communications from the City of Kimberley (both in the Kimberley Bulletin and the February 13th, 2023 Regular Council Agenda) regarding the proposed development of a restaurant/gas station in Marysville. We were disturbed that the proposal is for a McDonald’s restaurant. If this proposal is passed, the Golden Arches will be the first thing greeting visitors coming from the south as they round the corner around Bootleg Gap.
Kimberley views itself as a progressive community. The focus has always been local. Kimberley is abundant with green space, nature, renowned trail networks, opportunities for active commuting, and outstanding locally owned restaurants serving food made with quality ingredients (many of these ingredients are produced in our region). We are an active, unique, and vibrant community. That came through loud and clear last year when we were voted BC’s Best Small Town. Visitors rave about Kimberley. One of the features they often appreciate is Kimberley’s lack of fast-food restaurants. ‘The town is just…different’, they say.
The health impacts of ultra-processed food, which is what McDonald’s offers, are well-documented. The large scientific evidence base has concluded that the nutrient profiles of energy-dense takeaway and fast foods contribute to a host of negative health consequences, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor heart health (e.g., coronary artery disease), depression, digestive diseases, stroke, liver disease, and some cancers. The research also suggests neighborhoods with fast-food outlets have a higher prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and poorer mental health, and an increased risk of obesity. These findings are not swayed by personal bias. Instead, these facts are a result of decades of peer-reviewed and published scientific research in the world’s leading health science and medical journals.
And before you say, ‘You can eat healthy at McDonald’s…just order a salad!’ Unfortunately, salads accounted for only ~2% of sales and were dropped from the menu during the pandemic. And most kids don’t choose the apple slices over fries.
The proposed location in Marysville is not a coincidence given the high density of families with younger children in Marysville. Marysville is home to an ice rink, soccer fields, and an elementary school across the street. McDonald’s history of unethical marketing toward adolescents and children is well documented. A recent 2021 publication in the British Medical Journal concluded that McDonald’s social media marketing campaigns were most often targeted to children, and disturbingly, this marketing is even more evident in the world’s most vulnerable countries. And yes, this happens in Canada. A 2021 study from the University of Ottawa found McDonald’s contravened broadcast restrictions on advertising for preschoolers.
We have a distinct culture (as well as a distinct food culture) here in Kimberley, where the vibe is about being active, being out in nature, eating real food, shopping at the Farmer’s Market for local goods, and connecting with the community. A McDonald’s in Marysville would put us down a slippery slope where we could eventually be on par with smaller cities in BC and Alberta that look more like a fast-food nation rather than a vibrant, progressive, and healthy community. These smaller cities most often have a strip featuring several fast-food chains (food deserts, as those communities are known as) and limited options for healthy food. Several municipalities in North America have implemented zoning bans on fast-food restaurants and drive-thru establishments for several reasons, including promoting health, maintaining the visual appeal of the community (let’s be honest, McDonald’s and gas stations are not visually appealing), protecting the local economy, and reducing environmental impact (e.g., idling in a vehicle) (Nykiforuk et al., 2018). The City of Kimberley should join communities like our West Kootenay neighbors in Nelson, who have adopted progressive zoning bylaws for fast-food.
We urge Council to reconsider this proposal. We understand the importance of community growth and expanding the tax base, but not with regressive policies that impact the health and well-being of Kimberley residents. We expect Council to be innovative and generate healthy public policy. The City staff report recommended that the Mayor and Council reject this proposal, and we agree. Opening up a discussion with community members about fast-food restaurants and other drive-thru establishments would be a good start and should be the focus moving forward. Marysville residents should be consulted on this proposal before moving forward.
We urge Kimberley residents to voice their concerns with City Council regarding this proposal for a McDonald’s and gas station in our community.
Jeff Vallance, Ph.D., is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Management in the Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University. He is a Kimberley resident and a member of the Board of Directors of Healthy Kimberley.
About Healthy Kimberley
Healthy Kimberley promotes activities that broadly target the Kimberley community, as well as activities that specifically target children, youth (especially low-income or otherwise vulnerable), and seniors. We work to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Healthy Kimberley works to build awareness of the existing assets/resources in the community, enhance collaboration and assist in breaking down barriers to participation. You can find us online at www.healthykimberley.com.
Healthy Kimberley is offering micro grants to businesses in our community who are looking to promote healthy workplaces. The grants offered are up to $500 and will be awarded at our AGM June 22, 2023. Applications must be received by May 12, 2023 and can be submitted to email@example.com or be brought in person to the Food Recovery Depot.
Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot is seeking a motivated and resourceful individual for the position of Operations Coordinator.
We recover food ‘fit to eat but not fit for sale’ and distribute it to our community to make the healthy choice more accessible. Since 2019, we’ve recovered over 315,000 lbs of food and produced over 25,000 servings of meals for vulnerable community members.
Under direction of the Manager, the Coordinator position is responsible for onsite operations.
$25 - $30 per hour, depending on experience (employee or contractor negotiable)
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Related experience and/or education
Valid Driver’s License
Current Food Safety certification
Use of personal computer & cell phone
Please submit resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Submission deadline: Monday, February 13, 2023
The Swan Ave Park Project is seeking additional public support for the initiative that will see a neighbourhood park built on land beside the Swan Ave basketball court / ice rink.
A Healthy Kimberley initiative, the park will enhance under-utilized green space by installing natural playground features that will promote physical literacy and an active lifestyle for residents. The proposed site was home to a playground many years ago that was removed due to age and safety issues.
Project supporters are invited to contribute tax-deductible cash donations through the CanadaHelps website (link below). You can also volunteer on the Park Committee or a work party (spring 2022), stay up-to-date on the Healthy Kimberley website project page, and enjoy the park once installed.
“This has been a labour of love for many neighbourhood volunteers for a number of years,” said Todd Larsen, Volunteer Park Coordinator. “We have worked tirelessly to raise the funds needed to build this neighbourhood park and we are almost there! We are inviting the public to head to our website to view the project plans and support financially or through your time if you can. This will be an inviting and exciting space for anyone to use, not just kids! We can’t wait to complete the project and open this awesome new community space for everyone in 2022!”
Healthy Kimberley and park organizers have been working in conjunction with the City of Kimberley to create park plans and address community needs. The land is already zoned as recreational. To date, organizers have secured $119,676 in grants and approximately $50,000 of in-kind contributions. A local park construction firm quoted $190,000 to build the park. This project needs $20,000 to ensure that it can be completed!
Residents are invited to view the plans at www.healthykimberley.com/swan-ave-park
Please donate here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/kimberley-wellness-foundation/campaign/help-build-a-community-park/
As featured on our Instagram and Facebook feeds, this soup is a great example of using what you've got to create a healthy meal. Spices can be changed to change the character - for example, pumpkin pie spices adds warmth & sweetness!
The ingredients we used were recovered from Save On Foods & We Be Farming from Cranbrook.
Check out the video:
Facebook: Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot
Thanks to Emeline Guillard for the video skills!
Our Meal Program produced several versions of corn chowder in the summers of 2020 & ‘21. This is one of our faves!
* This time of year, maybe you have corn you froze from our local harvest! If not, frozen corn is readily available at an affordable price from your grocery store*
200g bacon or ham, cubed (optional)
1/4c butter or oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
4c corn (fresh or frozen)
2 carrots and 2 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 red or yellow potatoes, cubed
1L water or chicken stock
1c heavy cream (milk/non-dairy works too!)
Salt & pepper to taste
Our frozen meal production started in April 2020, using primarily recovered foods to create nutritious and delicious meals. Chefs are contracted to produce meals each week and volunteer cooking sessions are coordinated every 2 weeks. To date, we have produced over 17,000 (12 oz) servings of meals for our community!
This program fills a niche in Kimberley and has resulted in improved food security services for our community. We adapt to enhance already existing services whenever possible. Some examples:
Blarchmont Early Learning Centre runs a supper program that is highly over-subscribed with increased need since the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to accessing 100s of lbs of fresh groceries each week, accessing additional frozen meals from us means they don't have to turn people away.
Seniors Helping Seniors created a new meal delivery service due to accessing our meals. Since January 2021, their volunteers have delivered meals to 12-14 households per week.
Local school meal programs have been restricted due to Covid-19 restrictions. We have produced an average of 75 whole food-based handheld baked goods weekly since October 2020 to accommodate the reduction in variety of fresh produce they are able to offer students.
To augment supports our partner agencies coordinate for clients before the winter holidays, we plan our cooking sessions to produce the appropriate number and sizes of extra meals needed.
Starting in 2020, we offer agencies frozen meal coupons for their clients to access meals through our 4 Open to Publics planned over the holiday period. Since this is a time when many local agencies are closed, there is also a greater amount of recovered groceries available to the public.
Blue Canoe Orchard in Creston for their inspiring "Rent-A-Tree, Donate-A-Tree" program, connecting fresh, beautiful cherries to food service organizations across the Kootenays!
Wildsight Youth Climate Change Corps for their enthusiasm & hard work helping with the harvest!
Our tireless food recovery volunteers who joined the harvest effort & helped us pit and freeze 200 lbs for use in our meal program & distribute the other 600 lbs for fresh use by partner agencies, such as Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank, Blarchmont Early Learning Centre, Seniors Helping Seniors, Home Support, & others.
Over 700 lbs of carrots affected with carrot rust fly harvested & recovered from Edible Acres Farm in Windermere September 2021:
Thanks to our food recovery volunteers for their efforts in harvesting & diligently processing them by cutting off the fly-affected bits.
Our cooks' team will put these to use in our frozen meal program - within a week of harvest, there were 100 carrot pineapple muffins in our freezer, ready for supplying local school meal programs :)
This amazing certified organic farm produces sells their produce at local farmer's markets, through a CSA & directly from their farm and onsite cafe - check it out next time you're in the area.