GF hosts successful second food forum

Laurie Grant
By Laurie Grant
January 15th, 2014

The second Grand Forks Food Security forum to “Turn Ideas into Action” was attended by about 40 local residents at the Senior’s Hall in City Park, Jan. 11.

Here, the concerns of 105 respondents to a recent online/paper survey conducted by the Canadian Farmer’s Union and the Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society (GFBRAS). 

The survey respondents comprised 21 per cent from an agency or organization (representing about 3500 people) and 71 per cent as a family member, representing approximately 500 locals. The majority of the survey respondents were women, (the traditional food resource of the family) and a majority belonged to the Kettle Valley Food Coop. When asked how comfortable they were believing they would always have reliable access to local food, 62 per cent replied somewhat, 10 per cent were not worried about it and 27 per cent were very comfortable. The survey also indicated one of the biggest barriers to buying local food was financial.

Four categories of concern around local food security were determined from the 100’s of survey comments:

  1. Issues around land and resources.
  2. nfrastructure, tools and policies.
  3. Marketing, labeling, and access to good food.
  4. Education and training.

Forum participants joined facilitators in one of the four groups that were of interest to them to brainstorm for possible actions to address the issues.

Each group leader tabled ideas and flushed out reasons for, barriers against, resources required, people required, and timeline for completion.

After a healthy lunch made from local ingredients, group leaders presented the newly hatched ideas to the whole forum.

All participants were then given three stickers each and asked to attach them to one of the ideas outlined in paper now hanging on the wall to represent their importance.

Subsequently, each participant was asked to add their name to a sticky note and attach it to one or more project they felt they would be prepared to assist with in some way.

Everyone that took part will be called back to help put a project into action in the near future. 

Categories: GeneralIssues

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