|Snapshot of COVID-19 Food Responses
Community Food Production
- Community gardens have been confirmed open across the country in several provinces, and municipalities. The Provinces of Ontario and BC have declared them to be an essential service on April 26 and March 26, respectively.
- Municipalities have made decisions to open community gardens with public health guidelines and some restrictions in place, including Edmonton and St.John’s.
- Municipalities are putting funding into gardening projects and there are community collaborations and library and municipal initiatives focused on distributing gardening supplies, seeds, soil, and educational resources in communities including Sudbury, Toronto, and Calgary.
- Some municipalities are offering more opportunities to garden in temporary ways on public land, including Edmonton and Thunder Bay. Communities are seeing an opportunity to capture numbers on the yield of community gardens.
- Some are advancing policy changes to allow backyard chickens.
See the Community Food Production Breakout Meeting Notes to find out more about these topics and the Online COVID-19 document to view shared resources.
- Farmers’ markets have been recognized as an essential service in many municipalities (but not all) across the country. Some have opened already and others will open soon with the help of public health COVID19 guidelines developed specifically for farmers’ markets.
- Online marketplaces are popping up across the country to connect farms to drop point and/or to restaurants that are still doing take-out.
- Farms across Canada are worried about farm labor in a context where many are reliant on migrant farm workers.
See the Farmer Support Breakout Meeting Notes to find out more about these topics and the Online COVID-19 document to view the shared resources.
Immediate Food Distribution
- Staff of many municipalities across Canada have been tasked to help identify needs and to support the immediate food response effort of local not-for-profit organizations.
- Local and national funders have pivoted their funding priorities in order to support local immediate food distribution initiatives in the first few weeks of the Covid crisis.
- Community organizations across the country have pivoted their activities and have built new partnerships to better respond to food needs of the most vulnerable.
- In one example in Gatineau (QC), the Good Food Mobile Market has pivoted its activities to deliver good food hampers and meals prepared by collective kitchens with rescued fruit and vegetables from a local supermarket.
See the Immediate Food Distribution Breakout Meeting Notes to find out more about these topics and the Online COVID-19 document to view the shared resources.
Food Policy Councils/ Food Policy
- Members of Food Policy Councils across Canada are fostering collaborations across sectors and are already thinking of how this crisis can help us build more food resilient communities. See the Food Policy Councils meeting notes to find out more about these topics.
- Food Secure Canada is compiling a list of policy proposals from across the country.
Data Collection and Information Gathering
- Northlands Agricultural Society (Alberta) in partnership with other organizations, has developed a survey to do an initial assessment to determine what information Alberta consumers are looking for, as well as what kind of support Alberta food businesses need. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ABFood
- The City of Vancouver has launched a survey to better understand the needs of Vancouver food businesses, and the support the City can either provide or advocate for. URL: https://survey.vancouver.ca/s3/COVID-19-FOOD-BUSINESS-SURVEY