CFICE Community Food Security Hub Research Projects 2013 - 2014

     

The CFICE Community Food Security Hub is a collaboration between Carleton University, Food Secure Canada and many community partners. The overall research goal of the CFS hub is to try to make sense of the many models that currently exist and to articulate “best practices” in the areas of community-engaged teaching and community-based research in the context of furthering Community Food Security in Canada. 
 
 
2013-2014 Research Projects
 
 
  • Regina Community Food Assessment. Project Partners: Regina Community Food System Steering Committee (broad representation from community, local government and academic institutions)
 
The Regina Community Food Assessment (CFA) is a participatory, community-led process that is examining a broad range of food-related issues and resources in the city of Regina. Its primary goal is to improve the security, sustainability and resiliency of the community’s food system through the development, implementation and evaluation of a Community Food Assessment. The Assessment, started in 2012, has included collaboration between community partners and the University of Regina in the form of a community-based research project.  We produced an environmental scan of Regina and area’s food system, which helps all of us understand the context in which this project is undertaken.  CFA partners are currently engaging public stakeholders to understand the strengths and challenges of our food system. This evaluation project will help us examine our partnership as well as carry out action research to expand this partnership in equitable and mutually beneficial ways.
 
 
 
The main focus of this collaboration, which also includes other community partners, is to conduct a critical ethnography study of food insecurity and the transition from incarceration (2012 to 2013). The next stage of the project seeks to examine Emma’s Acres, a bridged urban agricultural social enterprise model, based on its impact on re-entry into community, restorative justice, and rates of recidivism. To facilitate the ongoing development of this budding collaboration between L.I.N.C. and CRiHHI, the partners are seeking to examine how this community-campus relationship, that combines community service learning (CSL) and community-based research (CBR), may be fostered in order to maximize the value created for each stakeholder and inform others interested in developing similar campus-community relationships.
 
 

 

This university-community partnership initially focused on addressing challenges and gaps within Guelph-Wellington’s emergency food provision system. However, an iterative cycle of community based research, knowledge mobilization, and action has shifted that focus, and the main goal of the current collaboration project is to support the development of a community food hub in Guelph-Wellington through continued university-community partnership. Two inter-related activities would be supported through CFICE funding: 1) a developmental evaluation of an evolving, multi-year, multi-stakeholder community-university partnership, taking as a case study the Research Shop’s collaborative work on community food security in Guelph-Wellington to date; and 2) a workshop designed to mobilize the knowledge gained as the existing collaboration with The Seed developed. In addition to a knowledge mobilization focus, a participatory workshop will support the evaluation design and implementation, by providing an opportunity for collaboration partners and other key stakeholders to collectively make decisions regarding desired evaluation products, map processes and products to date, and reflect on potential future agendas.

 

 
For over four years, Montreal non-profit Santropol Roulant has worked in partnership with McGill University to run the Edible Campus project, an urban garden producing large quantities of fresh produce for Santropol’s flagship Meals-on-Wheels program. After consecutive years of growth and diversification, Santropol is seeking to evaluate the impact of the Edible Campus project and its partnership with McGill.  
 
The Edible Campus demonstrates how a community-university partnership can create green, edible community spaces. Our intention for the next phase has been to focus on experimentation and education using the Edible Campus as a live-action think tank, elevating the garden from a showcase to a live classroom. The idea is to support an array of innovative research activities and dissemination actions using the Edible Campus as a unique experimental classroom that will push the boundaries of organic urban agricultural practices. Given the success of the project so far, we are looking to evaluate our impact, and assess possibilities for future impact. We anticipate that funding from the CFICE will have a major impact in helping us build our case for support by clearly articulating impact, potential and possibilities for replication and scale.
 
 

The establishment of the People’s Food Policy (PFP) and release of Resetting the Table in 2011 has engaged thousands of people across Canada and has inspired movements around the globe. The three main objectives of the proposed project are: 1) to engage in an eight-month, graduate service learning (SL) course that will deepen the evidence base for the People’s Food Policy (PFP); 2) to move food policy discussions forward at the provincial and federal levels; and, 3) to articulate a model for community-university partnerships that can be replicated and/or shared with others. The project seeks to extend a research and practice partnership between the Planning for Change course at the University of Toronto, Sustain Ontario: The Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming (Sustain Ontario), and Food Secure Canada (FSC). The proposed project will encourage the continued development of our existing relationships and reflections on ways to improve.