PEC food security initiative selected for new Rural Ontario Institute project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 25, 2019

A collective of Prince Edward County community members and organizations, led by The County Foundation (TCF) in partnership with the municipality’s Community Development Department, has been selected from applicants across the province to participate in The Rural Ontario Institute’s (ROI) Measuring Rural Community Vitality project.

TCF’s Vital Signs Food Security Working Group, formed in response to the 2013 Vital Signs Report, promotes and supports a collaborative approach to addressing local food insecurity and its root causes. The working group’s vision is that “every person in PEC has the means to consistently access and consume nutritious, affordable food.”

ROI has awarded the working group a $15,000 grant to support a nine-month pilot project based on three key strategies: increase awareness of local food insecurity and the community assets and resources available to bring about change; develop and coordinate food education and skill-building programs for both adults and youth; coordinate and integrate efforts to increase access to nutritious affordable food through innovative programs such as mobile food markets.

“We are delighted that our important project has been recognized by ROI in this way, which will enable our collective to continue its work in seeking to address the significant issue of food insecurity in our community,” said Brian Beiles, President of The County Foundation.

“It’s troubling that so many Prince Edward County residents struggle to secure nutritious and affordable food. As a caring and compassionate community, we must make a difference for people today and future generations,” said Prince Edward County Mayor Steven Ferguson. “I applaud the Vital Signs Food Security Working Group for its dedication to this issue and its selection to participate in this new project.”

Community partners are providing additional funds and in-kind contributions for the project, which is guided by a steering committee comprised of Picton United Church County Food Bank, Storehouse Foodbank, Food to Share, Community Development Council of Quinte, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, The County Foundation and Prince Edward County’s Community Development Department.

ROI chose the PEC project, along with projects led by Chigamik Community Health Centre and Middlesex County, based on promising workplans that directly engage community members in effective action and collaboration. ROI is a non-profit organization committed to building vision, voice and leadership for strong and vibrant rural and northern Ontario communities.

For more information, please contact:
Brian Beiles
President, The County Foundation

TCF Media release MRCV project (pdf)