Across the Capital Region, neighbourhoods and communities are working to address food insecurity and increase individual and community health. This has led to the emergence of a matrix of food hubs, networks, and centres that operate diverse programs and services that collectively provide citizens with opportunities to access, learn about, cook and grow food. These initiatives are also aimed at building social relationships, supports, and community.
Through our research and work we have learned that there are some important anchor organizations that provide supports and services across the region, as well as to specific neighbourhoods (such as Lifecycles, Compost Education Centre, and the Mustard Seed, and the Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses). We also see communities and geographical areas where there are gaps.
Questions arise such as: What benefits are being realized by the different organizing models and approaches? Are there ways that we might be able to better measure individual and collective impact? What conditions make and will help these “nodes” and “networks” in the region flourish? Would it be possible to connect them more intentionally to create a robust region-wide matrix that, through cross-fertilization and co-development, could become the foundation for a food literate, food secure region? An example of this approach has also been developing in Vancouver and we are watching and learning from this initiative- The Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks.
CRFAIR, working alongside the FoodShare Network, has just completed ground breaking research to compile and catalogue assets and opportunities available for Neighbourhood Food Hubs in our region. Stay tuned, the report is coming in the fall of 2016.
CRFAIR strives to build the connections that will result in positive food systems change. Find below the links to the most recent roundtable, Deepening Roots, the Community Neighbourhood Food Hubs Roundtable. Below you will see a presentation on the work as well as the notes from the meeting.