Land to Table held a Community Food Security Planning Session on March 2nd, bringing together individuals from various organizations, local government, and educational, health, and religious institutions throughout the North Okanagan region who are addressing food insecurity with an interest to move towards greater community food security overall. This was the first event of this size that we have hosted in 3 years! All agreed it was good to gather in this way!
Nearly 30 representatives were present! We were pleased to have our Spokes, Whitevalley Community Resource Centre, Okanagan Indian Band, the Good Food Box, share their insights on their programs and how the Hub has contributed to their capacity and growth. Attendees found the hub presentations helpful, saying they “loved hearing the presentations from the spokes and hearing how their work impacted participants.”
Hub Advisor, Linda Boyd from Interior Health, also presented on food security and insecurity within a BC context. All presentations are linked below for your interest.
Attendees were encouraged to network and collaborate at breakout tables to identify gaps and challenges to their work, brainstorm solutions, and share opportunities. The event provided valuable insights, and Land to Table discovered that the most effective way to support food security actors in our region is by:
Participants reported that the most valuable aspect of the planning session was the ability to connect and network:
Feedback for next year suggested there should be food producers present. Though farmers were invited, none were able to attend. Next year, L2T will focus on building the event so farmers and producers can be a part of the conversation.
Another suggestion was to have community, as in the clients of food security initiatives, present. L2T will work on creating a more accessible and inclusive space to involve recipients in food security work in the coming year.
Overall, the session was a very positive experience that left L2T staff and participants alike excited for the future of food security in the North Okanagan and the potential to integrate our local food sources into food security initiatives:
From the sessions, the group identified several working groups they would be interested in participating in to help L2T achieve various projects across the food system. If you are interested in joining in any of the following groups, or if you have another idea you would like to share with L2T, please contact Sammy Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org