What does Community Food Centres Canada do?
CFCC builds and supports vibrant, food-focused organizations that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for healthy food for all.
As part of that work, we work with partner organizations across Canada to create Community Food Centres that increase access to healthy food to those in need, build food skills, and provide education and engagement opportunities. There are currently eight established or developing Community Food Centres across Canada. Find out more.
In 2014, we launched the Good Food Organizations initiative, which supports community food security organizations across Canada to offer healthy and dignified food programs in their communities. We also maintain an online Knowledge Exchange where people working in the community food security sector can access program resources and learning modules.
What is a Community Food Centre?
A Community Food Centre is a welcoming place where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. CFCs provide emergency access to high-quality food in a dignified and respectful setting. 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 to 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 connection.
What kinds of programs do Community Food Centres offer?
Community Food Centres offer innovative and responsive programming in three key areas:
- Food access programs, which provide emergency access to healthy food to those in need in a respectful and dignified manner (e.g.: drop-in meals, healthy food banks, bake ovens, farmers’ markets and affordable produce markets)
- Food skills programs, which foster the development of healthy food behaviours and skills in the areas of cooking and gardening. (e.g.: community gardens, community kitchens, after-school programs, sustainable food systems education, and perinatal nutrition)
- Education and engagement programs, which work to give individuals and communities voice and agency on food and hunger issues (e.g.: peer advocacy support, community action training, public education workshops and events, and policy campaigns)
What issues do CFCs respond to? How do CFCs impact their communities?
The problems in our food system are big: almost four million Canadians are food insecure, and 841,000 Canadians used a food bank in 2014. As a society, we are both over- and under-nourished: every hour, 20 Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes, a disease that affects the poor twice as much as the wealthy and costs our health-care system more than $12 billion every year.
Community Food Centres address these issues by measuring impacts in four key areas: reducing hunger and increasing access to healthy food; improving health; building social capital; and increasing civic engagement; and strengthening our local food economy. Visit The Issues page to find out more, or read our 2016 Impact Report.
How does CFCC choose its partners?
We partner with organizations that demonstrate a local need for food programming, have access to an appropriate physical site, demonstrate local fundraising capacity and strong leadership, and share our good food principles. Click here for a full list of partner requirements and for our Interested Parties Questionnaire.
What’s the relationship between CFCC and The Stop?
The Stop Community Food Centre is CFCC's founding partner, and was the incubator of the Community Food Centre model.
How can I find out more?
Keep in touch by joining our e-newsletter, and following us on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn. To reach a staff member, click here, or call 416 531 8826. To suggest a question for our FAQ, email firstname.lastname@example.org.