This manual collects the latest and best practices emerging from Community Food Centres across Canada on how to start, run, sustain, and evaluate a Community Action Program. The manual is intended to help organizations that work to address poverty-related issues to engage their community in advocating for social change. Through the three pillars of the program — peer advocacy, Community Action Training, and social justice clubs — the document profiles a range of ways organizations can tackle systemic issues through empowering, grassroots programs.

The goal of the Community Action Program manual is to share strategies that help people navigate the complex system of social services as well as take action on local issues and the larger structural forces that are ultimately responsible for food insecurity and poverty. We discuss how to set the conditions for social change, as well as the challenges and barriers you can expect to confront in this work, and include tips for anticipating and addressing issues in advance. Given the importance of celebrating successes and small victories, we also highlight some of our achievements so you can see what winning looks like at the grassroots level.
 

Contents

  • What is a Community Action Program?
  • Three pillars of a Community Action Program:
    • Community Action Training
    • The Advocacy Office
    • Social Justice Clubs
  • Role of the Community Action Program Coordinator
  • Advocacy and charitable status
  • Evaluating Community Action Programs