Efforts in 2018 to transform food banks to community food centres saw Food Security Action Group members supporting community kitchens, gardens, food gleaning and a new partnership with FoodRescue.ca – an online platform connecting businesses with surplus food products to non-for-profit agencies with food programs. In 2019, we shall be focused on increasing the registration of Grey Bruce donors (farmers, producers, restaurants, grocery stores) and recipients (food banks, hot meal programs, community kitchens, etc.).
Through a grant from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce the Second Harvest program were able to purchase food processing tools for food banks.
Food Security meetings were hosted by Grey Bruce Health Unit, Bruce Botanical Food Gardens in Ripley, CMHA’s Community Food Forest in Owen Sound and M’Wikwedong NCRC to share best practices and exchange ideas. In 2019, we shall continue our food security conversations with new communities under the Food Security Hub Project funded by the United Way of Bruce Grey in partnership with the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network.
We hosted our Fall Food Gathering in partnership with the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network focused on the intersections between food, mental health, and the environment. is important that people come to our community food hubs and know that they have been heard. While Dave Roy and Alison Govier from CMHA Grey Bruce shared with us Where to Begin with mental health services and programs in Grey Bruce – they also helped to “de-expert” our roles. Plans are underway for the 2019 Fall Food Gathering which shall highlight the results of the Food Security Hub Project.
We saw a merger of our Bruce Grey Food Asset Map with the Agri-Asset Map. Moving forward we shall continue to add food asset data with partners.
Presentations to lower tier municipalities resulted in 2 new municipal endorsements of our Bruce Grey Food Charter. In 2019, the Food Security Action Group shall be increasing its road trips to lower tier municipalities to speak on the food security + housing + transportation and seeking new endorsements.
The end of the year saw the Nutritious Food Basket Survey released for Grey Bruce. In Grey Bruce, the annual Nutritious Food Basket survey recognizes the local cost to eat well. Measuring the true cost of food in local stores, the 2018 survey identifies that a family of four requires $204.16 each week to meet basic food needs.
One in five children across Grey County and Bruce County live in a low income household, while 6.5% of households sometimes or often run out of food before they can afford to buy more.
Traditional food charity cannot address the root cause of household food insecurity: poverty. There is a need for change. The solution lies in an income response that include access to safe and affordable housing.