Local growers and gardeners may have a role to play in food security on the North Island.

Food security program seeks local input

North Islanders are invited to take part in a series of meetings with the goal of establishing a food security program for the North Island.

North Islanders concerned with local food security are invited to take part in a series of small-group meetings with the long-term goal of establishing a food security program for North Vancouver Island.

Leslie Dyck is the project coordinator for the Food Security Engagement and Research Project, a partnership between Mount Waddington Health Network and Vancouver Island Health.

The program has three long-range goals, including determining the possibility of creating a food security hub for the North Island region.

But to secure such a hub, and funding for other goals of the food security project, Dyck is relying on small groups of interested citizens to get input and share ideas they may have on promoting the goals of the project.

“In the upcoming months my aim is to bring together the smaller discussion groups engaging people across the district in conversation about food security in their neighbourhoods,” said Dyck. “Each community is unique, but I am wondering if within that uniqueness I can identify threads that tie us together, looking for regional themes.”

Dyck has also scheduled a larger community consultation workshop on Nov. 13 to discuss the hub model, which is in place in other jurisdictions on Vancouver Island and which is eligible for funding through VIHA.

The workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Old School in Port McNeill.

Dyck also hopes to get the input of smaller groups of individuals from different communities across the Mount Waddington Regional District on specific needs within those communities.

The project has identified four elements of local food security:

• Availability of food (quantity of food available to the population);

• Stability of food (reliability of food sources over time);

• Accessibility of food (ease with which food may be obtained); and

• Utilization of food (ability and desire to make use of the food).

Through the smaller group meetings and larger workshops, Dyck hopes to facilitate three key goals of the project, including exploring current assets and gaps in community efforts to improve food security in the region, determine the feasibility of networking and capacity building through a local Food Security Hub, and developing a region-wide action plan to build on assets, address gaps and, ultimately, improve food security across the region.

If you interested in taking part in a small-group discussion in your community, contact Dyck at 250-230-1879 or leslie.dyck11@gmail.com.

 

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