First of all, we hope this continues to find you safe and healthy! We are feeling very grateful to have held our forum early in the year. When we gathered in early February at the Splatsin Centre in Enderby to explore opportunities for increasing access to healthy local food, our 65 participants were moved and inspired by five interview panelists. The stories, messages and ideas of these five women, as summarized in the forum report, are even more poignant and important now.
I am reminded of Rebecca’s words, sharing in the context of what food sovereignty can look like, inviting us to plant food on the borders of our property and inviting people to access this food as they need. Andrea spoke about supporting our local grocery stores who source from local farmers – doesn’t that seem more important than ever, knowing the feeling of scarcity that bare shelves in large grocery stores can create. Maurita of Lush Valley gave us much to think about in terms of the vital role that a food security non-profit (or Network) can play in community. In her position, Maurita is currently mobilizing an astounding emergency food share response in the Comox Valley (it’s worth reading to see what can be done).
But don’t take my word for it – have a look at the forum report to remind or acquaint yourself with snippets of what inspired us on February 8th.
This pandemic has everyone thinking about their personal and community level food security, including where we are accessing food, where that food is coming from and how to mitigate against potential supply disruptions (not to mention panic buying). Here are some questions we find ourselves asking:
- Are there any pieces from what was said by presenters or attendees at the forum that particularly stand out now? How are you feeling about your personal and community level food security and food sovereignty?
- How can we build and foster deeper connection as a Network in a time of physical distancing?
- How can we support emergency food programs and anticipate food needs in the weeks and months to come?
- How can we connect regional farmers to food providers (and those in greatest need) during this time?
- How are farmers feeling about how/where they will be selling food this year? Are they confident? Are they concerned?
- How are grocery stores and the supply chain really going to cope?
- How are we helping each other during these times?
Networks are an inspiring model for catalyzing change in response to complex social problems, like the multifaceted challenges created by a global food system and a global pandemic. Strong relationships, within and across all aspects of the food system, are at the core of strengthening our food system at a regional scale. Our annual forums are a key aspect of building connection – connection to a new topic, new wisdom, for generating and clarifying ideas for action and for building relationships and uniting under a shared experience.
We acknowledge that at this time many are suffering greatly. This is also a moment of tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the value and importance of a local, vibrant and accessible food system – and (as shared by Abra Brynne in this article … The Journey Towards Food Security) – to do something about it!
As a next best step, we invite you to join us for a Zoom-luck (an online potluck – so bring your dinner). To explore together the opportunities that we might have now to build a more resilient and vibrant local food system.
Invitation: L2T Zoom-luck | Wednesday, May 6th | 7-8:30pm | Join with your dinner in hand (if it suits you) | Please Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvce6rqzMjGNw_LtrLLHQZtWcfrU_QWZvi
Join the Zoom gathering (on May 6th) one of many ways – see our Events Page for details
We look forward to seeing you online then!