The Community Food Leader Certificate Program is for community‐based organizations and businesses who work at a local level to directly impact the lives of individuals experiencing food insecurity. Over eight months, The Our Food Project will support leadership development and collaboration among organization and community leaders who want to implement or expand food initiatives in their communities.
Food initiatives include an array of activities that help to shape local food systems such as community gardens, cooking skills programs, local food markets and more. Graduates become part of a regional network of food leaders, working to build food literacy, leadership skills, and food initiatives that improve food security in their community.
The Community Food Leader Certificate Program stems from our previous work with organizations like family resource centres, schools, food banks, and community health centres to deliver food skills programming and other food initiatives directly to their communities. We no longer facilitate direct program delivery with community members, but through the CFL program aim to support more organizations like the ones we worked with in the past to start or grow their own food initiatives for their neighbourhood or region.
The Our Food Project of the Ecology Action Centre has been working with partners to build what we call "positive food environments" - the physical and social spaces that make it easier to grow, sell, and eat good food.
We are eager to share the knowledge, tools and approaches that we've learned over the years through the Community Food Leader Certificate Program - to enable communities to keep the food movement growing in their area.
To get the most out of this program, the Community Food Leader Certificate Program is for individuals who can attend monthly training and work on their own organizational food projects in between. The amount of time to dedicate between trainings will be informed by specific organizational food goals.
Participants will work on a food initiative throughout the program, supported by the community food coordinator. We’ll connect with participants between trainings to help you reach project milestones.
As a participant in the program, you’ll be connected to other Community Food Leaders in the Halifax region, and become part of a supportive network of individuals and organizations who are also working towards food security for their communities.
There will be a full-day training session each month at various locations within HRM. Trainings will focus on key concepts that support meaningful and sustainable community food initiatives while connecting with others in your region. A detailed curriculum will be available at the start of the program.
Program topics include:
- Facilitation: What tools and approaches can we use when hosting groups?
- Food Systems: How is food connected in our lives, neighborhoods, and global community?
- Evaluation: How can we can measure the success of our programs?
- Fundraising: How do we fund our work?
- Community and Civic Engagement: How can we engage communities and partners for positive change?
- Food skills training: How can we help people learn to become more self-sufficient with food (through gardening, cooking, preserving, etc.)?
- Food justice: How can we reflect on and address inequality in our food system?
We encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, visible minorities, First Nations, and persons with disabilities. Diversity in our community is a strength that must be cultivated. CFL team members and participants are expected to foster a culture that embraces and promotes diversity.
Applications are now closed for our 2019 program.
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the program.
Read more about past Community Food Leader Programs here, including impact summary, profiles, and testimonials.