In 2019, 5 Food Security Conversations were held across Grey Bruce facilitated by Kimberly Edwards with the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network. This was a partnership between the Poverty Task Force’s Food Security Action Group and the Grey Bruce Health Unit. It was funded by the United Way of Bruce Grey.
Local conversations were hosted by food banks and engaged a wide range of community members to discuss their local food systems and envision changes for their community. The project observed a variety of community opportunities to respond to food insecurity. Read more about these in the Full Project Report or individual community conversations:
We formalized a Community Gardens Network between community gardeners in Grey Bruce which will exchange more technical expertise under the leadership of Simona Freibergova.
And we facilitated more food banks to sign up to the Good Food Organizations initiative – a project of Community Food Centres Canada. The initiative supports food security organizations by increasing their capacity to offer healthy and dignified food programs.
The Food Security Action Group (FSAG), a working group of The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force, and the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network will be working with local food security and food system stakeholders across both counties this spring to take action against food insecurity levels in several communities.
The FSAG will be hosting meetings in Dundalk, Wiarton, Kincardine, Saugeen Shores, and the Town of the Blue Mountains in April and May as part of a Food Security Hub Project funded by the United Way of Bruce Grey. These meetings will bring community organizations, municipal leaders, food producers, and community members to the table for action focused discussions on their communities food security needs. Stakeholders will work together to improve food security services for the community, strengthen their networks and collaborative efforts.
Household food insecurity occurs when a household’s access to food is inadequate or precarious because of inconsistent income or insufficient financial resources. Food insecurity is a good indicator of poverty in our communities. Currently 11% of households in Grey and Bruce County experience food insecurity. Children are at particular risk of negative effects from food insecurity, which is concerning given that 1 in 5 children across Grey County and Bruce County live in a low income household. Being food insecure has profound impacts on physical, mental and social well-being; and places a person at greater risk of becoming a high cost user of the healthcare system.
Despite the severity of the experience, only 1 in 5 food insecure households access traditional food charities. The Food Security Action Group supports the model of a Community Food Centre (CFC), or a hub model to better meet community needs. This model leverages the power of community and creates a sense of belonging that empower all community members to advocate for a better food system.
Community Food Centres (CFCs) or Hubs challenge the line between giver and receiver by giving everyone a place and inviting people with lived experience to be involved in program creation and delivery. Programs develop food literacy and can range from cooking classes to community gardens.
While large CFCs such as Toronto’s “The Stop” or Stratford’s “The Local” serve much larger populations, there are also local examples of how it can be done in the smaller communities of Grey Bruce.
Meaford’s Golden Town Outreach, has made important policy changes and partnerships and has added a variety of programs such as a “gleaning” program where volunteers will harvest excess fruit and share the harvest 3 ways – with the owner, with the volunteers, and with the food bank.
And CMHA Grey Bruce has launched their Fresh Roots food forest and catering services, and is getting ready to open the Fresh Roots Café. The Fresh Roots initiative uses a social enterprise model to support wellness among participants and in the community and creates employment for individuals with mental health concerns.
Town of Blue Mountains, Tuesday, April 30th, 12:30-3:00pm, Beaver Valley Community Centre – 58 Alfred Street, Thornbury RSVP Link
Kincardine, Friday, May 3rd, 12:30-3:00pm, Church of the Messiah – Kincardine Ministerial Food Bank – 421 Russell Street, Kincardine RSVP Link
Dundalk, Thursday, May 9th, 10:00-12:30pm, Erskine Community Health Centre – 90 Artemesia Street, Dundalk RSVP Link
Saugeen Shores, Tuesday, May 14th, 2:30-4:30pm, The Salvation Army – Port Elgin – 553 Bricker Street, Port Elgin RSVP Link
Wiarton, Monday, May 27th, 10:00-12:30pm, Wiarton Salvation Army Community Hub – 576 Edward Street, Wiarton RSVP Link
Roger Klein, CTV Barrie
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:19PM EDT
Public transit is always available in big cities, but in smaller communities without bus service getting to work or school can be very difficult or very costly.
Now – after years of debate – Collingwood is expanding its transit system to include the Town of Blue Mountains.
Every hour on the hour, the bus leaves Collingwood for Wasaga Beach. The transit link between the two communities started two years ago as a trial. Now Robert Leggatt, along with many of his neighbours, depends on it.
Robert Leggatt is happy to hear transit is expanding in the Collingwood and Blue Mountains areas.
“There are a lot of people who live along Highway 26 who don’t have cars and they rely on the bus, the link service to bring them into Collingwood,” he says.
Collingwood’s transit service is about to expand again with another bus that will run out to the resort area in the Blue Mountains.
Mayor Sandra Cooper says Collingwood and the Town of Blue Mountains have each contributed $18,000. The resort is also kicking in to get the new service up-and-running on a trial basis.
“The Blue Mountain Village Association and the resort have come up with $40,000 and with those partnerships it’s an exciting new venture,” she says.
The new service will use one of Collingwood’s existing buses and will travel back and forth between Collingwood and Blue Mountain for three hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. It’s anticipated that people will want to take along their ski and snowboard equipment.
High school students say a bus to the mountain is needed.
“I ski and my sister has a part time job up there too,” says Rachel Neike.
Mackenzie Kilbride says it’ll help with student employment “because a lot of parents don’t want to drive all the way out there.”
Anneliese Spear says the bus could mean new employment opportunities too because she will be able to travel all the way from Wasaga Beach to Blue Mountain using public transit.
“I think it will work,” she says. “I think it will work for everybody, even that extra opportunity to look is great.”
The new service should be up and running by early November, but is only a six-month trial to see how popular the service really is.