The Final Eat Think Vote Numbers Are in: We've Accomplished Great Things Together

The numbers speak for themselves: 68 Eat Think Vote events across Canada, 164 candidates attended, 4461 participants, and millions reached through radio, television, newspapers and social media. We are so unbelievably grateful for everything Canadians did to make the Eat Think Vote campaign a huge success. This look back on on our campaign to make food a federal election issue is for you. We could not have done it without you.


Time to table an overarching national food policy

That first op-ed along with a slew of other media coverage at the beginning of July signalled the Eat Think Vote campaign had arrived. Those who cared deeply about our food system helped welcome Eat Think Vote into world by tweeting, posting on Facebook, and publishing in newsletters and on websites about the campaign. Then they asked us how they could help.

"We all have a role to play in creating a more sustainable food system. Yet it will take more than the marketplace to create a healthy, sustainable food system. Beyond simply “voting with our forks” as individuals, we need to strengthen and unify our countless efforts.” -- words of Diana Bronson, Food Secure Canada’s executive director in the Chronicle Herald.

Eat Think Vote was going to give Canada something unique:  a series of community organized meals where local candidates and the voters would ‘come to the table’ and discuss the food issues Canada needs to act on now. Through Eat Think Vote we set out to unite Canada’s food movement in a way that had never been done before.

We knew campaign’s ‘good food for all’ message would resonate with Canadians. One month later a pre-election opinion poll ranked food, specifically the rising costs of food, the No. 2 issue concerning Canadians as the election period began. Eat Think Vote was off to a great start. The events were still to come.


Citizen Mobilization: So many great events...

Eat Think Vote searched high and low across the country for the rest of the summer looking for good food organizations and food champions to host, organize and participate in Eat Think Vote events. We wanted to mobilize as many people as possible to say loud and clear: it’s time Canada adopts a national food policy where no one goes hungry and everyone has access to healthy and sustainable food.

Our hard work clearly paid off. By mid-September, our campaign and Eat Think Vote events exploded back onto the scene.  

What we had not anticipated were all the different shapes and sizes Eat Think Vote events would come in: collecting petition signatures at farmers markets in Niagara, Ontario, voter registration in Nelson, BC and Cape Breton and food discussions “speed dating” with candidates in Montreal.

Each Eat Think Vote event was unique. Each event got our food system message across to candidates in its own way. Each served up delicious and nutritious food that was shared and enjoyed by all. As we approached Election Day it appeared our message was getting through to political parties. 


The Survey: 4 Parties Support A National Food Policy

Early on in the campaign, we asked candidates to pledge for a national food policy, but because of certain consideration in the electoral law, we had to switch to a less-binding approach.

Our campaign was already over the moon with all the great Eat Think Vote events that had been organized from coast to coast to coast. A week before Election Day we received more good news.

Food Secure Canada had sent out the Eat Think Vote survey to all five major political parties to find out where the parties stood on our campaign issues. A week before Election Day we published the results: the Liberals, NDP, Greens, and Bloc Quebecois were all in favour of adopting a national food policy.

Click for the full survey results.

“We’re delighted to see the vast majority of Canada’s political leaders recognize how important good food and our food system is,” Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada told Ipolitics. Read full article.

The future of our food system looked a little brighter that day. Take a look at where the new Canadian government stands on Canada’s most pressing food issues.


Every bit counts

One article in our newsfeed really cannot tell the full story of how Canadians from communities thousands of kilometres apart and facing similar and sometimes differing food challenges came together with one goal in mind: to make what we eat and what we grow a federal election issue. There are just so many great stories, people and organizations that emerged from this campaign. We wish we could name them all.

We showed our politicians food matters to voters. Now, it is up to all of us to show our new federal government that everyone Canada has the right to healthy and affordable food.

Eat Think Vote was just the beginning. We have no plans of stopping now.