Community Demonstration Project Underway on Food Insecurity, Seeks Community Engagement

The County Foundation and six strategic partners are underway on a nine month project funded by the Rural Ontario Institute and the partners. The Food Collective comprises the Municipality, HPE Public Health, Community Development Council of Quinte, Food To Share, Storehouse Foodbank Wellington, Picton United Church Foodbank, and The County Foundation. An additional resource and partner to the project is the Loyalist College Enactus Team.

The Steering Committee of the Collective has formed three Action Teams:

The Awareness Team, charged with building public awareness around Food Insecurity, in terms of what it is, how it occurs, its impacts, and what is being done, by whom, to mitigate those impacts today;

The Access Team, charged with improving access to food programs and services by examining underlying root causes, launching several pilot projects to increase food supply and to coordinate and integrate existing and new food programs and services aimed to ease access to same.

The Education and Skills-Building Action Team, charged with providing education and knowledge around and about nutritious food, what it means, how to prepare food safely, and cook it, through a series of hands-on classroom experiences and public advocacy.

The deliverables to the Rural Ontario Institute will be a case study of community engagement addressing Food Insecurity in a rural setting, along with a webinar illustrating what steps were taken and the learnings (successes and otherwise) that resulted.

The deliverables to the county community will be engagement in the project, particularly for people with living/lived experience of Food Insecurity, improved knowledge about, and interest in, acquiring and using nutritious food, knowledge of who provides food programs and services, when, where, how, and a sustainable improved access to food programs and services through methods that address the needs of the community.

The work is underway. The Action Teams are taking Action. We are seeking help from this generous community in terms of you and others becoming involved. We need volunteers for many of the action areas planned and started. We need volunteers with living/lived experience in Food Insecurity to step forward with candour and help us understand and address the issues, the physical and non- physical barriers. We need to know how to reach the 75% of food insecure people in the County who could or can use community food programs and services, but don’t, so that barriers to food access can be overcome.

Please contact us to donate or to volunteer for the Action Teams and the various sub-projects underway. Thank you, from The Food Collective.