On Monday, October 30, 2017, the Halifax Food Policy Alliance (HFPA) hosted two public engagement events. These events, entitled ‘Our Halifax, Our Food: From Charter to Strategy’, were an opportunity to discuss a draft Food Charter for Halifax and its potential impact. It was also a chance to gather input from participants about the actions they’d like to see to improve food security in their communities.
The afternoon panel session was hosted by moderator Catherine Mah from the School of Health Administration at Dalhousie University. The speakers were:
- Jessie Jollymore, Executive Director of Hope Blooms;
- Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, Senator and community activist;
- Marjorie Willison, Community food leader and aging well activist; and
- Dr. Wayne Roberts, Food Policy Analyst and Writer.
After a lively panel discussion, event participants moved to small group discussion about actions under the five principles of the Charter (Community Economic Development, Social Justice, Ecological Health, Individual and Community Health and Celebration).
The event keynote address by Dr. Wayne Roberts was informative and inspiring, with Wayne providing numerous examples of successes he’s seen in his work with the Toronto Food Policy Council and with other groups across Canada, the US and internationally.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of the draft Food Charter for Halifax, here is a backgrounder document created this year by the HFPA.
Here is the draft Food Charter for Halifax. The HFPA would greatly appreciate it if you would complete this survey once you’ve had a chance to review the draft Food Charter for Halifax. We want to hear your opinion about the Charter’s vision and principles and about actions you’d like to see in your community to improve food security.
The events were video-recorded and the HFPA will make them available on our website (once they are ready), along with a report document summarizing the feedback we’ve collected.
The HFPA members are also designing a community conversation toolkit. This resource would be made available to different communities within Halifax so that they could host their own conversations about the draft Charter for Halifax. The HFPA would gather the information from the conversations and include those opinions in our work to refine the Charter and to move towards a Food Strategy for Halifax. If you or someone within your organization or your community would like to host a conversation, please contact the Halifax Food Policy Alliance for more information. You can find our contact information here.
The HFPA members will be meeting with Halifax municipal Councillors and staff over the coming months to discuss the Charter, our region’s food challenges and the potential for improvement. A staff report is currently being prepared by municipal staff members and we are optimistic about the possibilities which may arise from these steps. If all goes well, we hope that we will be on the pathway to a Food Strategy for Halifax and a more food-secure place to call home.
Blog Written By: Nancy Anningson, Ecology Action Centre, Senior Coordinator, Community Food, Network and Policy Development