Food Strategy Connecting Food and CommunityPosted on December 14, 2017
Food Strategy Presented to Local Councils!
After a year in development, the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy was presented to local councils over the months of June and July, 2014. To date, the City of Thunder Bay, Oliver Paipoonge, and O’Connor have passed resolutions in support of the project.
What is a Food Strategy?
The Food Strategy is a strategic action plan to carry forward the principles engrained in the Thunder Bay Food Charter. The Food Charter was a community-led effort that laid out the principles of a healthy and sustainable food system—principles such as access to healthy food for all, preserving and maintaining local waters and agricultural lands, and encouraging regional and local food self-reliance.
As with the Charter, the Food Strategy is a community-led approach to defining issues and crafting solutions. The Food Strategy was developed through numerous rounds of consultation, including Food Summits, seminars, workshops, surveys, focus groups, and an Open House. Over four hundred people provided input into the development of the Food Strategy. The Food Strategy has aimed to bring together leaders from various sectors so that issues can be understood and addressed in a holistic way.
The Food Strategy is organized around seven pillars. The seven pillars, or, strategic action areas, were decided by community leadership at a Food Summit in 2013. The seven pillars are: Food Access, Forest and Freshwater Foods, Food Infrastructure, Food Procurement, Food Production, School Food Environments, and Urban Agriculture. You can read about the pillars by downloading the Food Strategy documet, available at tbfoodstrategy.ca
Thunder Bay and Area is one of sixty-four local and regional municipalities in Canada that are undertaking initiatives to improve their local food system.
The Food Strategy builds on the Thunder Bay Food Charter, which was adopted by Thunder Bay City Council in 2008, in addition to 33 other local municipalities, organizations and businesses. The Food Charter is based on a commitment to community food security, whcih integrates economic, social justice, health, cultural, and environmental considerations.
At a Food Summit in 2012, community leaders identified the need to develop a strategic action plan–a Food Strategy–to realize the vision described in the Food Charter of creating a healthy and sustainable food system for Thunder Bay and Area.
In April 2013 the Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded three years of funding to support the development of a Food Strategy for the City of Thunder Bay and Area.
With the Food Strategy now created, the project will move forward with an implementation plan, which will be developed in consultation with various community leaders and sector representatives.
Communities across the region will benefit from a more coordinated approach to the food system and the result will be a stronger local economy, greater environmental sustainability, and a more vibrant, colourful and inclusive community, both physically and socially.