Pickles to Policy Change: The Ecology Action Centre launches initiative to support community food projects

You may have noticed that the blog has been relatively quiet around here over the past few months.  Well, it’s because we’ve been cooking up a new initiative here at the Ecology Action Centre.  We’d like to present to you: Our Food: Reconnecting Food and Community (Phase 2).  

Here’s the official press release:

tomato harvest and seeds for next yearThe Ecology Action Centre is launching a four-year community food initiative, the Our Food Project: Reconnecting Food and Community. The overarching goal of the Our Food Project is to strengthen communities’ relationship to food by helping to build positive food environments. Positive food environments are physical and social spaces that help to normalize healthy eating by making it easier to grow, sell, and eat good food – key in a province in which 10% of households face income-related food insecurity and our food travels on average 4000km from farm to plate.

“Projects and activities can include anything from planning and planting a garden, hosting local food cooking classes, canning the harvest, constructing root cellars and greenhouses, setting up compost and water-catchment systems, or organizing a fresh food market”, says Su Morin, Community Food Coordinator (Cumberland) at the Ecology Action Centre.

“We’re calling it our ‘Pickles to Policy Change’ approach”, explains Marla MacLeod, Community Food Coordinator. “We are working at the individual, community and systemic levels to support healthy, local food systems from the ground up.”

making salsa with the youth from health and wellness programBuilding on many years of gardening and food skills initiatives, the Our Food Project has allowed the EAC to expand its Halifax-based staff and add a Cumberland-based staff person. EAC staff work collaboratively with individuals and organizations to build community capacity through hands-on education and skills building and support the development of food-based infrastructure. Over the next four years, the project will also expand to include a staff person in Cape Breton and one in New Brunswick.

Organizations working on community food projects are welcome to contact the Ecology Action Centre, which may be able to help with:

  • Workshops: education and skills building to grow, prepare and share good food
  • Support with new building projects: garden beds and greenhouses, root cellars, rainwater catchment, composting systems, etc.
  • Consultation and support for launching a community food project in your neighbourhood
  • Training and support for staff and community residents
  • Advice on helping to implement good food polices and initiatives

This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy.

For more information
Marla MacLeod
Community Food Coordinator (Halifax)

Su Morin
Community Food Coordinator (Cumberland)

Bloomfield garden at end of season

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