This powerpoint discusses different aspects of a community food assessment. It also discusses the role of CED and food security. It compares food programming and CED in Manitoba with that in Saskatchewan
food assessment and
Shirley Thompson, University of Manitoba.
Three of four major streams of
food flowing to communities
1. The mainstream, market-oriented agrofood
2. The charitable food assistance network (food
3. Nutrition safety net programming targeted at at-
risk people (e.g., poor children and adults,
pregnant women and nursing mothers and
Food Insecurity Interventions
1. Social policy (healthy minimum wages, healthy
social assistance rates, etc.)
2. Food & healthy policy (food charters, ACTNOW!
in BC requires food security be considered by
3. Community food programs CED (farmer markets,
community shared agriculture (CSA), buying
clubs or good food boxes, school breakfast
programs, community gardens, NHFI, food co-
ops, subsistence hunting subsidies, etc ).
Food Security Continuum
Redesign of the
sustainable CED to
enhance the local
Community Economic Development
(CED), of Women and the Economy project, UN
Program for Action Committee (2006).
Using local resources to meet local needs while at
the same time creating healthy and economically
CED is about working with communities to develop
positive and sustainable processes, not imposing a
system from outside the community. CED looks at
all aspects of the economy, not just commercial,
and is a powerful tool in working towards happy,
healthy communities (UNPAC, 2006).
for Community food
1. Production and use of local food and food services
(e.g., “make it, bake it, grow it”)
2. Establishment of stable social enterprises that
foster grassroots decision-making, active
participation and long term employment for
3. Healthy and affordable food access – reach of
many low income people and affordable/
marketed to low income.
Cooking in your community with a
a community food assessment (CFA)
A collaborative, participatory process to examine
food issues broadly to inform change actions to
make the community more food secure by looking
at resources as well as needs. Its:
Involves diverse and key participants
Emphasizes community participation to empower
Examines a broad range of community food
Steps to Involve and
Empower the Community
Get diverse decision-makers and community
leaders talking to each other about what’s
important – food.
Identify key stakeholders.
Invite the community to input at a meeting.
Get community to envision their community
Develop solutions that integrate quality of
life, public health, nutrition, economic
development, environment, etc.
Community Steps for food
Identify a group of key stakeholders
Organize initial meeting(s)
Determine the group’s interest in
conducting an assessment
Identify and recruit other participants,
representing diverse interests and skills
Determine appropriate research methods
Collect and analyze data from existing and original
Summarize assessment findings
Develop recommendations and action plan
Develop communications strategy
Clearly frame and articulate the message
Disseminate findings to residents and policymakers
through meetings and materials
Develop specific policy recommendations
Evaluate and celebrate assessment outcomes
Potential Benefits of Community
Involve and Empower the Community
Engage residents in collaborative learning about food-related
needs and resources
Build capacity for effective, collaborative action to improve the
Improve Existing Programs and Create New Ones
Identify gaps and potential for improvement
Increase community awareness and utilization of existing
Develop Advocacy Skills and Change Public Policy
Build residents’ skills to organize and advocate for policy change
Educate media and policymakers with compelling, research-
Improve Access to Healthy Foods
Increase availability of local, fresh produce in stores, schools, etc.
Improve the selection of products available in neighborhood
Community food systems
assessments can be used to:
Provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the
Inform decision-making and public policy around the food
Establish a long-term monitoring system with a clear set of
Improve program development and coordination
Increase community awareness of and participation in
Help articulate a vision of what needs to be done in the
community to set priorities and goals to improve the local
Build new, stronger networks, partnerships and coalitions.
10 Tools for Food System
1. Using Demographic Data to
Identify Vulnerable populations
1. Focus groups with food vulnerable populations
2. Food costs assessment
3. Food resource mapping
4. Participatory Food mapping
5. Rapid Market Assessment
6. Community Garden Inventory
7. Institutional assessment of local food
8. Stability and Impact of Food-related Social enterprises
9. Food miles calculation
Imagine you are starting a food assessment in
In groups discuss:
Would you be interested in a food assessment?
If not what would make you interested?
Who would you go to if you needed assistance?
Who could you partner with?
Who are the key stakeholders?
What are some limitations and how can you overcome them?
Have one person record and a different person present what
Questions for stakeholders
meeting: Get Cooking
Who’s feeding our community and what are
How can we build a stronger community
through better managing local food
How should our local food system look and
work in the next five years?
How should our local food system work in
It’s a human right to have adequate and
dignified access to healthful foods at all
What do community members do when
they don’t have it?
What are the barriers?
What are the resources?
What should we do?
What is the extent of the problem?
What is the level of concern?
What is the support?
What is the underlying cause?
What is the community vision of your
food system future?
Cooking with the community:
Concrete action items to meet
concern around food
Easy Medium Hard
Improve Existing Programs
and Create New Ones
Consider what your community needs to eat
healthy. Do existing programs get you there?
Improve existing programs and plans and start
some new ones that will make the change.
Increase community participation in shaping the
Bring new partners in.
Increase community awareness and use of
existing resources (e.g., food mail program,
MAFRI training, get dieticians to help improve
breakfast/lunch program, etc.).
What northern community
activists said: What do you need
in your community to eat healthy?
“Need community to work together and to use
people who know how to farm, talk to farmers and
ask them if they could help person to teach how to
cultivate that land so that they can expand and
teach others or the farmers donate / rent tillers. We
can produce our own food and that’s what we need
“I’m hearing that people need to be educated and I
agree with that, our main staple is pasta there is so
much sugar in pasta and macaroni, that is where a
lot of diabetes starts, we need to educate.”
What Northern people said: What
do you need in your community
to eat healthy?
“Going back to traditional ways of living, eating off
land and gardening, we have lost that and now are
recapturing it, we can teach future generations to
live off land like our ancestors.
This is how we started getting chronic diseases by
using things we never used before, ancestors
gardened, smoked meat and fish etc. Elders are
passing on and are taking that knowledge with
Projected Number of People with Diabetes MB First Nations, 1996-2016
Source: http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/ epiunit/docs/storm.pdf
Northern Healthy Food Initiative
Photocredit: Manitoba Food charter
Improve Access to Healthy Foods
Increase availability of local, fresh produce in stores,
Improve the selection of products available in the store
in the community and/or start a gardeners/gatherers/
crafts/baked goods/fishing/hunting market once a
month, timed with paydays
Encourage traditional activities (hunting, gardening,
fishing) at school and in community
Get community events and school events to eat
FoodShift and Change
Builds community members skills to
organize and advocate for policy
Educate media and policymakers with
compelling, research-based results
Need to Evaluate to keep growing
Keep records of participants
Get participants to write their evaluation
Talk to the press
Invite community members to events
Have contests to find out what kind of food
is grown and how big they are growing.
What you said: What do you need
in your community to eat
“Need garden, need fertilizers for gardens
(fish guts from town) at least you know
what you are eating when you get it from
someone you know, ie from fishermen.”
“Important that we are educated as to what
we can bring to our communities, especially
when it comes to diabetes, to prevent it by
gardens and to educate them.”
What you said: What do you need
in your community to eat
“Food intake that promotes health to your body in
all aspects, not generic but individual to your body,
not everybody has same needs for food, bodies are
individual, we digest and adapt differently , depends
how your body is, diabetes, high blood pressure,
depends on individuals body.”
“In Saskatchewan we started a ‘good food box
program’ in Meadowlake, provides 4 types of fruits,
4 veg, lentil and pasta , started with family and now
communities involved, buying in bulk makes it
Food Security and Community
food programs in Manitoba
Is CED making a difference in food
Child and Health Education
Program (CHEP) Good food box
VISION: “Community where good nutritious food is always available for
everyone no matter what their circumstances, where there is care for the
environment, support for farmers, access to local food production, and
knowledge about making healthy food choices.”
Karen Archibald, Executive Director of CHEP explains: “Poor people
have less money to risk and so the CSA model won’t work as if the years
farming failed people would lose all their food money. They need to get
good value and every week we show how much more the produce would
cost if bought in a regular store. Delivery with respect is provided when
there is need due to lack of transportation. The box is meant to balance
out food bank use, which is a lot of starches and no fresh fruit/
vegetables. A CED approach requires that we listen respectfully and are
responsive to our members needs”.
Buys legumes, fruits and vegetables in volume to:
fill 1000-1800 good food boxes a month,
community kitchens and
provide 35 schools/organizations breakfast and/or lunch programs
Delivered bi-monthly to 75 volunteer drop-off locations,
$17 regular fruit and vegetable box,
$12 small fruit and vegetable box,
$30 organic box.
$5 boxes to three aboriginal communities – Mistowassis, White
Cap and Beardee – in the Saskatoon area; and
mini stores in seniors’ apartments.
Income from good food box sales provides about
two thirds of good food box funding.
The Province of Saskatchewan has granted core
funding since 1991, and now provides about
$400,000 annually, almost one third of CHEP’s
budget of over $1 million.
Other funding comes from the City of Saskatoon
and the United Way, as well as private fundraising,
donations and partnerships.
Pay the Rent or Feed the kids?
Table 1: Maximum allowable rent rates allowed by Manitoba Family
Services on Welfare Cheque
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s October 2003
figures, the average cost of a 2-bedroom apartment in Winnipeg was
Even the toilet bowl in our place had ice frozen over it… and I was
getting sick of living like that…being cold and running away from mice…”
For this house, lacking in basic sanitation and heat, Louise paid $500 per
month, $70 over her rent budget, with the extra money extracted from
her food money. “I was living on $225 [for food] with 3 kids and 2 adults.”
Miko and Thompson, 2004.
Farmers Markets in
Year round or extended period (4-7 months in Regina and
many other locations and year round 5 days/week in
Premium prices enable farmers (including urban gardeners)
and food producers to decent incomes.
Funding and support (e.g., $30 million River Landing
Development funded by all levels of government and owned by
Farmers Markets in Manitoba
- No markets operate more than 3 -4 months (14 day
permit for food vendors (& Brandon market shut down)
has sent out the message that seasonal weekly markets
- 2007/08 started to have a Manitoba’s farmer market
- Limited or no financial support from government. St.
Norbert market infrastructure funded through St. Norbert
Foundation wanting to revitalize their community.
Community Shared Agriculture
System linking local farm to local consumers who
purchase subscription shares of the year’s harvest from a
local organic farm. CSA shareholders provide the start-up
capital necessary for farmers to purchase seeds, supplies
and soil amendments and share the risks for farming (e.g.,
Earthshare CSA (out of business in 2007) provided jobs
for refugees and immigrants and 150 boxes for 12x.
Weins farm in Winnipeg -- $400 for 100 boxes, 12-14x of
fresh organic vegetable with work for food option.
The Northern Healthy Foods
Community-based intervention funded by the
provincial government of Manitoba, which is
designed to increase access to affordable
nutritious food in Northern Manitoba communities.
NHFI team includes:
Aboriginal and Northern Affairs
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
Healthy Child Manitoba
Food security issues in Northern
Decline of hunting and fishing
Trading of traditional foods limited by Indian
High diabetes and obesity rates
Treaty Land Rights
Northern Store monopoly
(Northern Food Prices Steering Committee,
2003; Usher, 2004, Thompson, 2006)
NIHB Expenditures In Manitoba Region by Benefit
Total: $127.8 M
CHEP and NHFI programs provide regional
models of how NGOs can focus efforts on access
to healthy affordable food that reduce population
level food security. They benefit all BUT need
some external on-going supports/funding.
Farmers markets and CSAs provide limited or no
benefit to low income consumers – while being a
business incubator and providing local, more
sustainable food to middle/high income.