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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 24, 2013

The 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.
 
Building 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. 
 

Quotes

“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”.
 - Su Morin, Community Food Coordinator (Cumberland), Ecology Action Centre
 
“We’re calling it our ‘Pickles to Policy Change’ approach. We are working at the individual, community and systemic levels to support healthy, local food systems from the ground up.” 
- Marla MacLeod, Community Food Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
 

Fast Facts

  • The Our Food Project of the Ecology Action Centre is active in Halifax and Cumberland Counties, and will be expanding to include communities Cape Breton and New Brunswick. 
  • The Ecology Action Centres welcomes organizations working on community food projects to contact us about workshops, advice and training.
  • In Nova Scotia in 2010, 10% of households reported moderate or severe food insecurity, meaning that they were unable to, or uncertain about their ability to, meet their food needs. http://foodarc.ca/wpcontent/uploads/2013/05/NSFoodCosting2012_Report.pdf
  • In our 2010 report, “Is Nova Scotia Eating Local?”, it was found that food travels approximately 4000km from its origin to Nova Scotia. report:) http://www.ecologyaction.ca/files/images-documents/file/Food/FM_Final_20...
 

For more information
 

Marla MacLeod
Community Food Coordinator (Halifax)
902-442-1077
 
Su Morin
Community Food Coordinator (Cumberland)
902-251-2959
Photo Gallery

Photo gallery

(please click on an image to see the larger version)

Bloomfield Garden at the End of Season Community Building Dilly Beans! Making Salsa

Teaching Youth about compost and soil building Tomato harvest

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