More than 100 community food leaders from across Canada gathered in Toronto February 27 – March 1 for Community Food Centres Canada's first Food Summit. This Food Summit brought together food experts from nation-wide Community Food Centres and Good Food Organizations to learn from one another, share best practices, and cultivate Canada’s good food movement, spurring future action to create a healthier and fairer food system.
"Great to be growing a movement with other Community Food Centres and Good Food Orgs at @aplaceforfood #cfccfoodsummit. We are so inspired!" - A tweet from Kristina MacMillan, NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre
Growing a food movement together was the central focus of CFCC's Food Summit, which started off with an inspiring introduction from President of Community Food Centres Canada, Nick Saul, where he emphasized that "food is more than just food: it sits at the hearts of so many of the seemingly intractable issues of our time, and is a powerful tool for hope, health and greater equity". Sessions throughout the weekend concentrated on program innovation — from community action to food education programs and affordable produce markets — to directed networking and capacity-building. Attendees to the Summit hailed from 7 provinces and 30 communities, and included staff from The Stop, The Local, The Table, Norwest Co-op, and Regent Park Community Food Centres, as well as 33 member Good Food Organizations, including Loving Spoonful (Kingston, ON), Share the Warmth (Partageons l’espoir) (Montreal, QC), Operation Sharing (Ingersoll, ON), and Gordon Neighbourhood House (Vancouver, BC).
"I got an incredible amount out of it, including renewed inspiration and context for the movement at large, a clear idea of gaps in our programming, a base of tools and resources to begin addressing those gaps, and contacts (most usefully those from our own city!) with whom to exchange and share." - Kim Fox, NDG Food Depot
On Saturday afternoon, a plenary panel featuring Dr. Mike Evans, founder of Evans Health Lab and physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, Damian Adjodha, agroecologist and community organizer, and Valerie Tarasuk, leading expert on food insecurity in Canada, explored how community food programs create positive individual, community, and political change. Dr. Mike Evans believes health should be thought of holistically (not in silos), and can be tackled with small behavioural changes on an individual level. Damian Adjodha highlighted the importance of community-level action in creating change, specifically from the youth of those communities affected by poverty. The panel concluded with Valerie Tarasuk documenting the rising level of food insecurity in Canada and the power of policy and a guaranteed basic income.
"I've been to quite a few conferences, and this by far was the best. Amazing content and great people!" - A tweet from Paul M. Taylor, Gordon Neighbourhood House
Thank you to all attendees, speakers, and supporters for an inspiring and impactful weekend!
To view highlights from CFCC's Food Summit, check out the following:
- A summary of all our social media activity: https://storify.com/cfccanada/cfcc-food-summit
- Attendees making headlines in our "Photo Booth" on.fb.me/18FTiIB (Facebook photo album)