Food Security & Community Development

Food insecurity was a recurring theme throughout the conference, with topics ranging from saving diverse seeds, to recovering traditional indigenous knowledge, to the transformation of food banks and the adoption of advocacy strategies to keep these issues on the government agenda.  Over 4 million Canadians live in food insecure households, and the problem is also growing worse internationally.  In this section, you will find examples of work that seeks to diminish food insecurity through community involvement, and usher in policies that support food sovereignty.


NOTES OF THE SESSIONS
These notes were taken by volunteers and they are not for quotation. Thank you for your understanding.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Food Banks : Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?
Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Food Insecurity: The need for action-oriented research
Engaging Seniors/Elders to Foster Community-based Food Security
Keeping Food Security on the Government Agenda
Sowing Seeds of Survival: Food Security Starts with Seed Security
Making Food Matter: A Nova Scotia Strategy Supporting Action on Community Food Security

Northern Farm Training Institute: A Path to Growing Food Security in the North (missing)


Food Banks : Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Chair: Catherine Mah, PROOF Research Project
Presenters: Shawn Pegg, Food Banks Canada, Kathryn Scharf, Community Food Centres Canada, Val Tarasuk, PROOF Research Project

Academic research and recent public debates have focused on the role of food banks in poverty reduction as well as on the development of social policy. Has charity replaced government obligations to ensure respect for the human rights of vulnerable populations? Do food banks encourage long-term dependence on charity? Can food banks be constructive agents of change? An interactive session with Food Banks Canada, Community Food Centres Canada and the PROOF research project.

 


Notes of the session

 


Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Food Insecurity: The need for action-oriented research

Workshop - Presenters: Kelly Skinner, Lakehead University; Joseph LeBlanc, President, True North Community Co-operative; Jackie Fletcher, Missanabie Cree First Nation; Kristin Burnett, Lakehead University

This panel was a facilitated discussion between researchers and community members about conducting research with Indigenous communities.  Over the last three decades, dozens of reports and papers have been written that identify food insecurity as a serious problem with grave health impacts for Indigenous people.  While valuable and interesting, research only confirms what we already know - that food insecurity is an urgent and pervasive public health issue for Indigenous people. Researchers need to start doing research that is community-driven and action-based. This panel included presentations by key food sovereignty activists from northern Canadian Indigenous communities to initiate a broader discussion about grassroots action-based community research.

Notes of the session


Engaging Seniors/Elders to Foster Community-based Food Security

Participatory Workshop - Presenters:  Sarah Ferber, Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador (FSN)

Seniors and elders are capable of taking an increasingly dynamic and leading role in establishing community-based food security across Canada. Their combined experience, skills and place-based wisdom are of the utmost importance to efforts within the food movement, but as a population they are often times complicated to access and engage. Organizations currently collaborating with seniors, serving seniors, or hoping to engage seniors were invited to this discussion facilitated by Food Security Network NL to share best practices, storytelling, and resources for expanding the food movement to welcome more seniors and elders.

Notes of the session


Keeping Food Security on the Government Agenda

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters:  Melanie Kurrein, Provincial Health Services Authority; Margaret Yandel, BC Ministry of Health

This presentation identified the key levers that keep food security on the provincial health agenda in British Columbia despite an evolving provincial landscape. The session engaged the audience in discussion around the opportunities and challenges for advocating for a comprehensive approach to address the complexity of food security.

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Sowing Seeds of Survival: Food Security Starts with Seed Security

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters: Faris Ahmed and USC Canada Team

This workshop put the issue of seed diversity and seed security front and centre in the thinking around resilient food systems and policy that favours food sovereignty.  Speakers featured innovative seed work both in Canada and in the global South, as well as lessons we can learn from each other.

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Making Food Matter: A Nova Scotia Strategy Supporting Action on Community Food Security

Participatory Workshop - Presenters:  Chris Stothart, FoodARC - Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia; Jen Organ, FoodARC - Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia; Deborah Dickey, Dartmouth Family Resource Centre / FoodARC - Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia; Debbie Reimer, Kids Action Program / FoodARC - Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia; Patricia Williams, FoodARC - Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia

Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia’s Make Food Matter strategy and toolkit seeks to mobilize over 10 years of provincial community food security research knowledge to action. The toolkit combines learning and resources from a diversity of voices with a stake in realizing healthy, just and sustainable food systems. Participants learned about research that has informed strategy development, and received an orientation to, and workshopped some of the toolkit components which support much needed action around community food security.

Notes of the session


Northern Farm Training Institute: A Path to Growing Food Security in the North

Panel Presentation(s) - Presenters:  Kim Rapati, Northern Farm Training Institute

The Northern Farm Training Institute (NFTI) is a new experiential school based in Hay River, Northwest Territories (NWT). The school was mentioned in the newly released report entitled Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada as a promising, multidisciplinary approach to building food security in the North. Specifically, NFTI was mentioned as an innovator in infrastructure and local food production. It is an example for providing agriculture training in small and remote communities.

The notes of this session are missing.