Community Food Centres Canada provides resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada to create Community Food Centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food. CFCC also works with the broader food movement to build greater capacity for impact and to empower communities to work toward a healthy and fair food system.
We envision a Canada where everyone has the means and knowledge necessary to access good, healthy food in a dignified way, and the ability and opportunity to be heard on the food issues that affect them. We envision a robust, diverse food economy that sustains farmers and the land, and a social consensus that food is a key determinant of health and a public good.
THE POWER OF FOOD: When it comes to food, we believe the medium is the message. Good food has the power to build health and community, and inspire people to become engaged in issues that matter to them. Offering food that is delicious, healthy and pleasurable is a priority, not an incidental.
MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH: We believe that taking a multidimensional approach to programs can create individual and community change. By locating a critical mass of diverse programs under one roof, we create multiple points of entry and encourage synergy, collaboration and cross-pollination.
INTEGRATED THINKING: We believe we must address the big picture while also taking action at the grassroots. By combining a united national voice with grassroots action, we aim to influence the policies that create the issues facing our communities. We focus on income security, health issues, and sustainable agriculture.
ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY: We believe that financially stable community organizations are vital. We strive to support organizations to have sufficient staffing and resources to do justice to our valuable work. This involves diverse and innovative fundraising approaches at both the local and national levels as well as fostering an organizational culture that supports staff to get satisfaction from their work and live a balanced life.
RELEVANCE: We believe in meeting people where they are at. Community Food Centres meet immediate needs first as a precondition for being able to address more complex food-related needs. Though Community Food Centres aim to help people make change in their lives, we recognize that people’s skills and goals are diverse, and that they do not want to be preached at or pushed. We understand that people require practical supports to be active in their communities, and that there must be pleasure in the process as well as the outcome.
RESPECT: Respect underpins all of our work. We believe in creating a welcoming and respectful environment in all the Community Food Centres we support. From the way people are greeted to the aesthetics of the physical surroundings, our activities and policies reflect respect for diversity and a recognition of the inherent value, assets and potential to contribute of all people.
EMPOWERMENT: We look for ways to foreground community leaders in everything we do. We believe in people’s abilities to take care of their own needs. When people can support themselves and their peers by acquiring skills that enable them to choose, grow, prepare and advocate for good food and a more equitable society, the result is higher self-esteem, better social and physical health and stronger communities. Similarly, we empower our centres with the supports they need to be locally relevant and to have a voice in the larger movement.
IMPACT: We believe in creating efficient and high-impact programs. We employ a cost-benefit analysis when developing our programs, and we endeavour to regularly measure their impacts on the community.