A new soup mix developed from Saskatchewan-grown products is being used to help fight food insecurity in the province.

The Farm2Kitchen soup mix product is a collaboration between the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources, the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc. (Food Centre), and the Regina Food Bank and the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.

The soup mix feeds a family of four and uses provincially grown lentils and oats.

USask researcher Dr. Michael Nickerson says while we promote the need to feed the world with agriculture, and commodities grown in Saskatchewan, we also have people here who are suffering and we can't forget that. 

"So this project is about caring for communities in developing this product. We have so much food, and so many families in need locally as well as around the world."

The first production run of the soup mix (about 15,000 packages) was completed at the Food Centre and is being included in food hampers for food banks in Saskatoon and Regina. 

Nickerson says the soup is really good. 

"They did a great job at the Food Center. It has a really nice texture on your palate, so it has a soft yet crunchy taste to it. And the soup, we actually have a vegan chicken flavor soup mix, you could or may choose not to add to the soup."

According to Food Banks Canada, the increasing cost of food and housing, as well as high inflation and low social assistance rates, have contributed to the rise in food bank usage across the country. 

The Regina Food Bank states that one in five Saskatchewan children are food insecure. 

The soup mix product will help Saskatchewan food banks control food cost and feed more families, using cereals and pulses grown in the province.

 The food banks hope to expand the product across Saskatchewan and Canada to address supply demands.