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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

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  1. 1. Applying community food assessment and economic development in Community Shirley Thompson, University of Manitoba.
  2. 2. Three of four major streams of food flowing to communities   1. The mainstream, market-oriented agrofood system   2. The charitable food assistance network (food banks.   3. Nutrition safety net programming targeted at at- risk people (e.g., poor children and adults, pregnant women and nursing mothers and seniors).
  3. 3. 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 PH) 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 ).
  4. 4. Food Security Continuum UNSUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE Charitable (food provision) Community (empowerment) Sustainability  Food banks  Soup kitchens  Community kitchens  Community gardens  Farmers markets  Redesign of the social, economic and political system through sustainable CED to enhance the local food system
  5. 5. 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 viable communities. 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).
  6. 6. Some considerations for Community food programs 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 community residents. 3. Healthy and affordable food access – reach of many low income people and affordable/ marketed to low income.
  7. 7. 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:   Community-based   Involves diverse and key participants   Emphasizes community participation to empower   Examines a broad range of community food security issues
  8. 8. 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 food system.   Develop solutions that integrate quality of life, public health, nutrition, economic development, environment, etc.
  9. 9. Community Steps for food assessment Organize  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
  10. 10. Research   Determine appropriate research methods   Collect and analyze data from existing and original sources   Summarize assessment findings Report   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
  11. 11. Potential Benefits of Community Food Assessments 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 community Improve Existing Programs and Create New Ones   Identify gaps and potential for improvement   Increase community awareness and utilization of existing resources Develop Advocacy Skills and Change Public Policy   Build residents’ skills to organize and advocate for policy change   Educate media and policymakers with compelling, research- based results Improve Access to Healthy Foods   Increase availability of local, fresh produce in stores, schools, etc.   Improve the selection of products available in neighborhood stores
  12. 12. Community food systems assessments can be used to:   Provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the food system   Inform decision-making and public policy around the food system   Establish a long-term monitoring system with a clear set of indicators.   Improve program development and coordination   Increase community awareness of and participation in food-related projects.   Help articulate a vision of what needs to be done in the community to set priorities and goals to improve the local food system   Build new, stronger networks, partnerships and coalitions.
  13. 13. 10 Tools for Food System Assessments 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
  14. 14. Food Access Model
  15. 15. Community Groups   Imagine you are starting a food assessment in your community.   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 you discussed.
  16. 16. Questions for stakeholders meeting: Get Cooking   Who’s feeding our community and what are we eating?   How can we build a stronger community through better managing local food resources?   How should our local food system look and work in the next five years?   How should our local food system work in 2020?
  17. 17. Questions for Community Meetings It’s a human right to have adequate and dignified access to healthful foods at all times.   What do community members do when they don’t have it?   What are the barriers?   What are the resources?   What should we do?
  18. 18. Prioritizing  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?
  19. 19. Cooking with the community: Concrete action items to meet concern around food How difficult How important Easy Medium Hard Extremely Important Very Important Important
  20. 20. 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 food system.   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.).
  21. 21. 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 to do.”   “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.”
  22. 22. 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 them.”
  23. 23. Projected Number of People with Diabetes MB First Nations, 1996-2016 Source: epiunit/docs/storm.pdf
  24. 24. Northern Healthy Food Initiative Photocredit: Manitoba Food charter
  25. 25.  
  26. 26. Improve Access to Healthy Foods   Increase availability of local, fresh produce in stores, schools, etc.   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 healthy
  27. 27. FoodShift and Change Public Policy  Builds community members skills to organize and advocate for policy change  Start programs  Educate media and policymakers with compelling, research-based results  Participatory video
  28. 28. Need to Evaluate to keep growing   Keep records of participants   Get participants to write their evaluation   Take pictures   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.
  29. 29. What you said: What do you need in your community to eat healthy?   “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.”
  30. 30. What you said: What do you need in your community to eat healthy?   “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 cheaper.”
  31. 31. Food Security and Community food programs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan Is CED making a difference in food security?
  32. 32. 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”.
  33. 33. CHEP   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 daily.   Delivered bi-monthly to 75 volunteer drop-off locations, having a:   $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.
  34. 34. CHEP funding   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.
  35. 35. 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 $645.   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.
  36. 36. Farmers Markets in Saskatchewan   Year round or extended period (4-7 months in Regina and many other locations and year round 5 days/week in Saskatoon)   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 Saskatoon City.
  37. 37. 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 only allowed. - 2007/08 started to have a Manitoba’s farmer market association. - Limited or no financial support from government. St. Norbert market infrastructure funded through St. Norbert Foundation wanting to revitalize their community.
  38. 38. Community Shared Agriculture (CSA)   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., poor harvests). EXAMPLES:   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.
  39. 39. The Northern Healthy Foods Initiative (NHFI)   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 (MAFRI)   Healthy Living   Manitoba Conservation   Healthy Child Manitoba
  40. 40. Food security issues in Northern Manitoba   High costs   Decline of hunting and fishing   Trading of traditional foods limited by Indian Act   Freight costs   High diabetes and obesity rates   Treaty Land Rights   Northern Store monopoly (Northern Food Prices Steering Committee, 2003; Usher, 2004, Thompson, 2006)
  41. 41. TO

  42. 42. NIHB Expenditures In Manitoba Region by Benefit (FY 2003/2004 $2.8M $17.3M $53.5M $5.6M $48.5M Total: $127.8 M
  43. 43. Conclusion   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.