What Is a Community Food Centre?

A Community Food Centre is a welcoming space where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. CFCs provide people with emergency access to high-quality food in a dignified setting that doesn’t compromise their self-worth. People learn cooking and gardening skills there, and kids get their hands dirty in the garden and kitchen in ways that expand their tastebuds and help them make healthier food choices. Community members find their voices on the issues that matter to them, and people find friends and support. CFCs offer multifaceted, integrated and responsive programming in a shared space where food builds health, hope, skills and community.

 

Program areas

All CFCs offer responsive programming in three core areas:

FOOD ACCESS PROGRAMS provide emergency access to healthy food to those in need in a respectful and dignified manner

FOOD SKILLS PROGRAMS develop healthy food behaviours and skills, primarily in the areas of gardening and cooking

EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS work to give individuals and communities voice and agency on food and hunger issues

 

Infrastructure & staffing

● CFC programs are offered in an integrated space, allowing for synergies and cross-pollination between program areas

● Each space includes gardens, a Public Health–approved kitchen, offices for a minimum of five staff, and multi-purpose program and dining space to seat 80 to 100 people

● All centres are financially stable, with a minimum staff team of five (one director and four coordinators) and a minimum operating budget 

 

Program quality assurance & impact

● CFCC staff visit each CFC on an annual basis to perform a program audit to ensure the highest-quality program delivery

● Each CFC provides data for centralized evaluation efforts, which are aggregated in CFCC’s Annual Impact Reports

● CFCs share knowledge, lessons, innovations and best practices with one another through annual conferences and the online Learning Network

 

Each Community Food Centre

● Increases access to healthy food among low-income community members

● Increases skills and knowledge and encourages behaviour change around healthy food

● Reduces social isolation and increases connections to a variety of supports

● Increases knowledge of poverty and food systems issues and create new opportunities for effective action on systemic issues

 

Visit our Prospective Partners page for more information on what we're looking for in partner organizations and to download our questionnaire for interested sites.