Theme: Food Security

Members of the Food Security theme group:

Dibya Shrestha (Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria)
Kelly Hays (Cowichan Green Community)
Keltie Gael Butler (Ecology Action Centre)
Stephanie Skavinski (Food Security Research Network)
Andrea Simpson (Gung Ho Employment Co-operative)
Alexis Nazeravich (North End Community Renewal Corporation)
Marie-Pier Duchesne (RDÉE Ontario)

An interesting new project to watch
This Metcalf Foundation funded projectlooks to be an interesting urban-rural food project to keep an eye on
Sustain Ontario
a province-wide, cross-sectoral alliance that promotes healthy food and farming, will undertake “Good Food Ideas to Feed a Hungry City,” an initiative aimed at engaging the broader public in a discussion about sustainable, socially just food systems. Using social media strategies and locally based events, Sustain will advance a series of ideas about how Torontonians, in partnership with rural communities, can work together towards a food system that is healthy, ecological, equitable and financially viable.


5 responses to “Theme: Food Security

  1. Marie-Pier Duchesne

    Just wanted to say hello to the Food Security Group!
    Talk to you on the 12th.

  2. Stephanie Skavinski

    Hello Fellow Foodies!

    I’m working with the Food Security Research Network, and we have our annual March Food Forum coming up in, you guessed it, March! This is a great potential opportunity to engage youth because it’s set up in the Agora – the large public meeting space at Lakehead University. It’s a place that sees a lot of traffic at key times of the day – and it also helps that there’s a Tim Hortons there as well.

    I want to come up with some ideas that I could put into place for this Forum. The kinds of people that will be coming through can range from those who are interested in the topic and are looking at everything that’s there, talking to everyone at the booths, to those who just want their large double double and the Tim’s line up happens to extend through the area where booths are. I would want something that is accessible to all of these people.

    Perhaps a brochure/hand out that could be given to people that are just passing through or don’t have enough time to have a chat – it could contain info about local food businesses like the new Co-op in a downtown area, or eateries that have a focus on locally grown/produced food, information about CED and how these businesses are contributing to the local economy. Perhaps a note of encouragement on it as well – something like “If you have ideas like these, don’t be afraid to try them out! Yay co-ops!” (but perhaps more eloquently worded that that).

    I’m not yet sure what businesses or groups will be having any representation at this Forum already, but the planning for the event will be starting very soon. This is just a potential idea, but I think it could work well!

    Let me know what you guys think – any ideas?

  3. Paul Chamberlain

    Just to let you know you may be hearing from Cheryl Partridge, an intern at LEF, where our office is, who is doing work around local food. I thought you’d have issues in common. -Paul

  4. Stephanie Skavinski

    Hi Foodies!

    I’m shifting strategies with my YEP in terms of the Food Forum! I will be helping to organize workshops/activities for high school students (and perhaps also elementary students -the details have not all been worked out yet) that will be bused in for the Form. We have an excellent resource up on the FSRN’s website which we might pull some activities from.

    It’s called “Tasting Rainbows: Awareness-Raising Lesson Plans for Outdoor Education”. It was put together by an Outdoor Education class at the University last year, and many of these lessons were delivered as workshops or presentations at the Forum. We may choose to use some of these this year as well (Hey, why reinvent the wheel?), along with other activities.

    We did a modified “World as a Village and Equity Lunch” activity at the World Food Day celebration in March and it was a big hit.

    This resource might be useful for some of you as well, so I figured I’d share!

  5. alexisnazeravich

    Hello – my intention has been to post for sometime, I’m not up on the blogging culture, so forgive me if it takes me a while to post!
    I am currently working on Food Security in Winnipeg’s North End. I am working on many things – trying to keep the balls in the air as more projects roll in!
    I am focusing on primarily:
    1) Communicating with the community gardening groups to dialogue about their past seasons, the successes, the improvements and solutions, as well as funding needs for the upcoming 2011 season. Mainly, I will be submitting the proposals for funding according to the consultations.
    2) Organizing some workshops on Gardening: on area the community has identified as a “gap” is education/mentorship. The North End Food Security Network will budget to provide workshops for the community: composting, seed starting, transplanting, general maintenance, canning, mulching, winter sowing…
    3) Creating a gardening handbook: complete with the items the community has mentioned are areas of “insecurity”. This will be an easy to read, simple formatted booklet with information on the “how to’s” of gardening as requested by the communities. Some themes will be: composting, when to start seeds indoors and outdoors, lists of workshop facilitators and services for gardeners (mulch delivery, soil delivery, educational workshops, plant nurseries, native plant suppliers, City of Winnipeg by-laws, etc), where to find volunteers…
    Additionally, the Network is working with some funding for a Food Access Pilot Project, addressing the needs of the community as recognized in a 2010 Food Assessment Report for the North End. We have met with local retailers, of which are primarily corner store retailers. We have done some research on this trend – as a neighbourhood becomes primarily inhabited by low-income individuals/families, the businesses tend to move out. What moves in: Corner Stores, Fringe Banking – higher cost goods and service providers. Many studies and projects have been ongoing in the USA to address the corner store culture in low income areas. A healthy corner store initiative is common – by where the needs of the community are identified and the retailers are linked with the requirements of the community to work together to address the lack of nutritious and affordable food access. At times, bulk buying has worked to help stored keep prices lower, other initiatives have focused on signage – educating the consumers on healthy foods, how to prepare them, where to find them, etc.
    We have surveyed the agencies in the area to find out where they are spending their food budgets – hundreds of thousands of dollars are leaving the North End. We are at the beginning stages of developing an implimentation plan to begin working on some solutions. Immediately, we are implementing a free shuttle to assist with the access of groceries – many do not own cars in the North End. The Shuttle will link with retailers who have agreed to store tours, information signage, specials on healthy foods, and the like. This is a pilot – and a large issue to tackle. We are just beginning!

    I must get back to these things I speak of – all the best to you all, I would love to chat more about what we are all doing!

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