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Toronto Food Strategy

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Speaker: Barbara Emanuel …

Speaker: Barbara Emanuel
Session: Emerging Health and Food Policies

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Building food connections broadly, with community but also with TPH and other city Divisions
    Food Strategy is not a report – ongoing process to identify, leverage and strengthen the conectinos between food and many other issues
    Making food visible (food traditionally not what Cities do, but we are trying to align City of Toronto policies, by-laws etc with goals of a health focused food system.
    Helping everyone be intentional about food – to see food as part of City mandate
    Admin – Board of Health Approved in 2008, Cultivating Food Connections in 2010
  • “Food Connections” presents a vision of a health-focused food system, in which health becomes the overarching and driving principle. Our food problems show that the current system does not have health as its goal.
    A health-focused food system means much more than making safe and nutritious food more available. It would support the social determinants of health. In other words, such a food system would promote social justice, protect the environment, creates local, diverse & green economic development, builds strong communities, foster food-friendly neighbourhoods, empower people with food skills & info, and much more.
    PHOTO:
    Afri-Can Food Basket at McVean farm in Brampton
  • Influence price,
    Image – denormalizing
    Accessibility (get it and do it)
  • making connectionsn w comminity
    Making links between issues (seeing link b/w urban ag, environmental outcomes/food handler training to employment outcomes)
    Glasses – see opportunities for City to meet existing social, economic and health goals throgh food (see next slide for example)
    Leverage funding – looking for links and connections, we keep eyes oen to find creative ways to leverage creative funding. In last year we have been able to get money from McConnell, provincial money through into health, United Way, OCE to help us do more!
    use food to achieve multiple goals
    - progress through action – we try to just DO stuff together with partners in City and Community
  • making connectionsn w comminity
    Making links between issues (seeing link b/w urban ag, environmental outcomes/food handler training to employment outcomes)
    Glasses – see opportunities for City to meet existing social, economic and health goals throgh food (see next slide for example)
    Leverage funding – looking for links and connections, we keep eyes oen to find creative ways to leverage creative funding. In last year we have been able to get money from McConnell, provincial money through into health, United Way, OCE to help us do more!
    use food to achieve multiple goals
    - progress through action – we try to just DO stuff together with partners in City and Community
  • And in big cities with all our wealth and food availability, we still have many low-income neighbourhoods with little access to healthy, affordable food or a high density of unhealthy food options. This is Lotherton Pathway in west Toronto, a lower income area cut off from food stores, where residents take extreme measures to reduce the 2.5km walk to the nearest discount grocery store.
  • But we didn’t want to stop there, we asked the TTC about using their older vehicles as mobile grocery stores. And they gave us 3 WheelTrans vehicles, one of which will be on the road this summer as our new Mobile Good Food Market, capable of running 12 months a year and serving more locations.
    We’re involved in many similar projects that reflect this action-partnership-incubation philosophy. While we haven’t solved the world’s problems, we think they’ve made positive changes in many people’s lives, shown how gov’t, especially public health, can be an enabling force and overcome silos, and by being flexible and open to collaboration with diverse partners, we’re often able to create great things on the cheap. And when we need to figure out how to address food issues in an ever changing world and with restricted government budgets, I think this approach has a lot to teach us about effective 21st century public health administration.
  • making connectionsn w comminity
    Making links between issues (seeing link b/w urban ag, environmental outcomes/food handler training to employment outcomes)
    Glasses – see opportunities for City to meet existing social, economic and health goals throgh food (see next slide for example)
    Leverage funding – looking for links and connections, we keep eyes oen to find creative ways to leverage creative funding. In last year we have been able to get money from McConnell, provincial money through into health, United Way, OCE to help us do more!
    use food to achieve multiple goals
    - progress through action – we try to just DO stuff together with partners in City and Community
  • making connectionsn w comminity
    Making links between issues (seeing link b/w urban ag, environmental outcomes/food handler training to employment outcomes)
    Glasses – see opportunities for City to meet existing social, economic and health goals throgh food (see next slide for example)
    Leverage funding – looking for links and connections, we keep eyes oen to find creative ways to leverage creative funding. In last year we have been able to get money from McConnell, provincial money through into health, United Way, OCE to help us do more!
    use food to achieve multiple goals
    - progress through action – we try to just DO stuff together with partners in City and Community
  • Conducted community food mapping sessions too
  • Insight Gathering:Mobile Food Vending, Peer Nutrition and Food Retail Map Initiatives indicated there was need for local, culturally appropriate food in low income, underserviced neigbourhoodsSummary of existing research on world crops and opportunitiesCommunity consultations, retails assessments and key interviewsBring Partners to the Table:Vineland Research and Innovation CentreMcConnell FoundationTen Community GardensGreenbelt FoundationGolden Groceries DistributionLongos
    Support and Create Initiatives: Research and Pilot Project to ensure that world crops being grown in Greenbelt are available for sale to newcomers in underserviced neighbourhoods.Field trips to Greenbelt to help Newcomers understand local food issues in Ontario and to provide input into the projectLearning Gardens events to build relationships and connections between non-profit organizations working on World Crops and foster learning about ideal conditions and market readiness for World Crops
    Identify Champions:Ten Learning Gardens partners were key champions in providing access to commuities, resources and insight into how World Crops can best be shared with low income, newcommer communities.Focus groups, education sessions, community kitchen space, etc. was provided by partners who animated the program on the ground
    Execute, Iterate and Refine:Food Strategy/Vineland repot will identify opportunities by summarizing research gathered through:Consumer GroupsTesting world crops to compare quality and taste to imported varietiesInterest in various world cropsTechniques to grow & prepare world cropsFarms:Growing world crops at 10 farm locations to test viabilityProviding education & tools to grow cropsConsultations and feedback on successes & challengesRetailers/Distributors:Focus groups to determine best distribution channels to reach low income neighbourhoods including alternative distribution networkdsIdentify opportunities and challenges in reaching low income neighbourhoods and food deserts
  • Conducted community food mapping sessions too
  • Conducted community food mapping sessions too
  • Transcript

    • 1. Toronto Food Strategy Bring Food Home Barbara Emanuel November, 2013
    • 2. Toronto Food Strategy  Spearheaded by TPH to foster healthy & sustainable food system
    • 3. City of Toronto’s Existing Food Connections
    • 4. Toronto Food Strategy Approach  Build/strengthen networks by doing things together  Leveraging resources  Top down & bottom up strategies for change  Research & evaluation
    • 5. Food Environment Mapping  Better understanding of spatial relationships among income, food access, etc  Changing the discussion on “food deserts”
    • 6. Few Healthy Affordable Food Sources Lack of Green Spaces Few Amenities in Walking Distance Inadequate access to public transit Low Household Income
    • 7. MRFEI Scores & Low Income
    • 8. Lotherton Pathway, Toronto – Closest discount grocery  2.5km
    • 9. Findings So Far  Problem in Toronto is NOT quantity of food stores but quality of retail in many areas  Less healthy food retail envir’t common across Toronto  Many lower income areas have low MRFEI but income does not predict food envir’t score  Schools more likely to have fast food within 500m/1km vs surrounding areas
    • 10. Explanations?  Density in problem areas doesn’t fit with traditional big food retail models (but they’re trying to adapt)  “Progressive” regulatory legacies can impede alternate food distribution models today  Little support for small food enterprises
    • 11. Mobile Good Food Market
    • 12. Leveraging City Assets
    • 13. Healthier Corner Stores Working with Existing Small Food Retailers
    • 14.  Approx 8 convenience stores in Toronto for every supermarket
    • 15. Kabul Market- Scarborough
    • 16. Kabul Market- Scarborough
    • 17. Harlem, NY Newark, NJ
    • 18. Insights from Research So Far  Wide variation in small food store models  Many practical barriers for owners to integrating healthier foods  Residents value customer service highly
    • 19. Insights from Research So Far  Very little institutional support exists for small-scale food retail  Many store owners keen to serve community, provide healthier foods  Most successful examples we saw prioritized positive relationships with customers
    • 20. Community Consultations
    • 21.  Examples of apt tower communities in Germany Source: ERA Architects (2010). Tower Neighbourhood Renewal in the Greater Golden Horseshoe
    • 22. Food Skills & Employability Training  Integrating food safety, nutrition & employment training skills
    • 23. Locally Grown World Crops MANY OF THESE VEGGIES CAN BE GROWN HERE
    • 24. Policies on Access to Land & Infrastructure
    • 25. Community Food Procurement  Researching solutions for more cost-effective purchasing of healthier foods by community agencies & City programs
    • 26. Barbara Emanuel, Manager Toronto Food Strategy bemanuel@toronto.ca 416-392-7464

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