July News

Funding Opportunities

Seeking out BIPOC-led Food Systems Projects – by July 7, 2020

  • The McConnell Foundation is exploring how it might address long-term COVID-related food security challenges, and would like to hear about food systems projects that are led by Black, Indigenous, or other People of Colour (BIPOC). Whether local/regional food systems projects, or national policy projects, they are interested in work that will contribute to a “Just Transition”, that:
    • takes a systems-change focus, toward greater food justice, and
    • builds power, leadership and food security in marginalized communities.
  • They’ve created a simple form so that you or anyone else can provide some of the key details and contact information of BIPOC-led food systems organization or initiatives working in one or both of these areas, that may benefit from funding in the $50k-$70k range.

    Please contribute by July 7 and circulate widely.

    For more information, contact khodgins@mcconnellfoundation.ca
    Kelly Hodgins, Food Security Granting Team, McConnell Foundation.

Indigenous People’s Resilience Fund (IPRF)

  • The Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund (IPRF) is an Indigenous-led effort, of the Community Foundations of Canada to respond to urgent community needs while taking a long-term view on building community resilience.
  • Any Indigenous-led organization or Indigenous-serving organization working to foster resilience in Inuit, Metis and First Nations communities in Canada can apply for resiliency funds ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.
  • Among the examples of eligible projects is those responding to “Sustainable access to food and strengthened local food systems.” For more examples of eligible projects, see the Applicant Guide here.
  • Learn more on the Community Foundations of Canada website here.

AAFC launches second call for proposals under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has announced the launch of the second call for proposals under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund. The Fund aims to strengthen food support organizations and to help improve access to safe and nutritious food for Canadians at risk.
  • The second call for proposals under the program will support small and large community-led projects at facilities such as urban gardens, community kitchens, food banks, and greenhouses. It could also support a cluster of organizations who are ready to enhance their regional food systems.
  • Apply and learn more here.
Food for Thought: Reflections and Resources on Race & Food Work

How is your community addressing the intersections of racial disparities and food insecurity, in an ongoing way, in light of COVID-19, and now? What conversations are you having in your organizations around how anti-Black racism shows up in your food work? If your organization is BIPOC-led, what are the ways you are building food sovereignty? What resources have you come across for supporting thinking through an anti-racist or food just lens in your municipality and community? What relationships do you have with Black-led and Indigenous-led food organizations? What about other organizations led by People of Colour? How are you supporting their work through funding and the way budget is allocated? What does the composition of your food councils, your boards, your staff look like? How do you centre Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour voices in your work?

Some resources, and ways you can support follow below.

Upcoming Events

Future of Food Webinar Series:
Building Resilient Food Systems During COVID-19 and Beyond

  • This webinar series features many of the foremost food systems experts from UBC and across BC, brought to you by the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS), the BC Food Web and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) and other partners to be announced.

  • Register, and watch recordings of past webinars here.
  • Topics include:
    • What’s a food system anyway? Unpacking the global and local food system – May 28

    • Decolonizing the Land and Food System: Indigenous Resilience in Times of Crisis – June 11

    • A food system in crisis: climate change, COVID-19, and pathways forward – June 25

    • The role of innovation in building a food-secure future – July 9

    • Essential labour, essential lives: migrant agricultural workers and COVID-19 – July 23

    • Eating close to home: fostering the local food system during COVID-19 – August 6

    • Farmers: lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic – August 20

    • The right to eat: Tackling food insecurity during COVID-19 – TBD

In Case You Missed It

  • A Food Policy Action Plan in the Context of Covid-19. 
    Food Secure Canada has published a policy action plan for renewing the country’s food system in response to Covid-19, and needs your help with spreading the word. Read more here.

Aiming for Resilience in Canadian Food Systems:
Call for Submissions

Arrell Food Institute and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute invite you to participate in a project that will gather evidence on what happened to the Canadian food system during the pandemic. Submit your evidence or experience document. Submissions are accepted in .doc or .pdf formatting, until July 17th, 2020.

May 28, 2020 News

In Case You Missed Them, Our Past Events:

Webinar: Direct Marketing in Pandemic Times (in French)
“Mise en marché de proximité en temps de pandémie”
May 22, 2020

Webinaire: Social innovation in pandemic times (in French) “L’innovation sociale au temps du coronavirus”
May 6, 2020


Read an article (in French) on this webinar by André Magny, from the Association de la Presse francophone: Propulser le changement social, même en temps de pandémie  

See more recorded webinars on our website. https://foodcommunities.ca/webinars/

Further reflections on COVID-19 food solutions:

Standing on the threshold: COVID-19 and our food system”an article by Barbara Emanuel, founding team member of the Food Communities Network, and past manager of the Toronto Food Strategy.
Read here.

A Food Policy Action Plan in the Context of Covid-19. 
May 14, 2020

Read here.

Food Secure Canada has published a policy action plan for renewing the country’s food system in response to Covid-19. The action plan names 7 policy priorities:

  • Address the root causes of food insecurity
  • Build resilient, ecological local food systems
  • Support Indigenous food sovereignty
  • Champion decent work and justice for workers all along the food chain
  • Ensure everyone is at the policy-making table
  • Harmonize Canada’s national and international food policies, prioritizing food sovereignty approaches
  • Immediately advance a National School Food Program

Food Secure Canada is calling on everyone to spread the word to ensure that this message is heard. Click here to see how: https://foodsecurecanada.org/2020-growing-resilience-equity

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Canada’s Response issue of Policy Options includes a number of articles that discuss the issue of food and poverty:
March 2020
Read here.

  • “Cracks in the global food system more apparent with COVID-19”, by Gisèle Yasmeen, Susan Alexander & Anna Paskal

  • “Food banks can’t adequately address COVID-19 food insecurity”, by Valerie Tarasuk & Lynn McIntyre

  • “A basic income is not as simple as you might think”, by David A. Green, J. Rhys Kesselman & Lindsay Tedds

  • “Les personnes les plus vulnérables face au coronavirus”, par Pierre Tircher et Nicolas Zorn

The price of the Nutritious Food Basket in COVID-19 times (In French).

Le coût du Panier à provision nutritif (PPN) depuis l’apparition de la COVID-19

Published by: Dispensaire diététique de Montréal (Montreal Diet Dispensary)
Read here (in French).

Upcoming International Webinar:
“COVID-19 and Sustainable Food Systems: Responses and innovations to tackle vulnerabilities and build back better”

Organized by: One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme (in Europe)

June 3, 2020, 2:30 PM CEST (convert to your time zone).

What critical measures are required to both combat the COVID-19 crisis and build sustainable food systems? Can responses to the COVID-19 crisis catalyse transformation toward sustainable food systems?

Register and submit your own answers in this participatory webinar here.

May 15, 2020 News

Webinar: Direct Marketing in Pandemic Times (in French)

Webinaire: Mise en marché de proximité en temps de pandémie.
Co-organized by: the Food Communities Network and Vivre en Ville
Friday, May 22, 12pm EDT
Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire au webinaire

Appuyer nos agriculteurs locaux en s’approvisionnant localement est plus que jamais d’actualité. Les mesures sanitaires à respecter en temps de pandémie posent toutefois de grands défis pour la mise en marché de proximité.
Quelles sont les approches gagnantes à mettre en place
pour assurer une mise en marché sécuritaire?

Other Events happening very soon

Friday, May 15. Webinar: How are cities maintaining access to safe and nutritious food for vulnerable populations in times of Covid-19?

FAOUNEPICLEI, RUAF and Rikolto invite you to learn from the experience of New York City (USA), Kampala (Uganda) and Quito (Ecuador).
Friday 15 May at 15:00 CEST (Central European summer time).
Convert to your time zone.

A webinar (in French) that you may have missed

  • Here is the link to see the webinar. Don’t hesitate to share!
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

Farmer support
  • 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