Kamloops Food Policy Council

 

Kamloops Food Policy Council

 leading food security in our Communit

                  laura.kalina@interiorhealth.ca

By Laura Kalina, Co-chair, Kamloops Food Policy Council and community nutritionist, Interior Health

 Food is a popular topic in the media these days. Movies such as Supersize Me and books such as Fast Food Nation and The 100 Mile Diet all speak to concerns about how our food is grown, processed, packaged, distributed and purchased. But how can we take the issues raised in these movies and books and address them in our own communities? The answer for many people is food councils. Food councils are “cropping up” – pun intended – and are beginning to make some impact. Kamloops Food Policy, established in 1995 was one of the first Food Policy Council in Canada. 

 Members of food councils include farmers, gardeners, food suppliers, chefs, teachers, nutritionists, city staff and interested people in the community. They come from different backgrounds and areas of expertise but have one thing in common - they are dedicated to improving local food systems. A food system includes how our food is grown, processed, distributed, packaged, accessed and purchased and includes policies that affect these areas as well. Examples of projects that food councils may work on include, starting or helping to start community gardens and kitchens, building awareness in the community about food systems, teaching food skills and working with local government to create policies and bylaws that support local agriculture. In Kamloops, we have partnered with other organizations to create food action projects such as Community Gardens & Kitchens ( Interior Community Services), Gardengate Training Centre ( Open Door Group), Kamloops FoodShare ( Kamloops Food Bank) and the development of food policy within the City of Kamloops Sustainable Plan

(www.kamloops.ca) . 

 We are excited about food policy because it supports a local food economy which it turn ensures a healthy food system. Healthy food leads to a healthier community.

 The KFPC is excited about the  expansion of the Community Garden program. With the recent addition of the River  Street Community Garden Kamloops has almost reached its goal of doubling individual gardening plots form 134 to 268 by 2011.     A big focus is urban agriculture and fostering more edible landscape within the city.  Our partnership with the Master Gardner program has been terrific!  We hope to work with developers and strata councils to create more community gardens and edible landscape. 

 Food councils are not exclusive!  KFPC is always looking for people who are passionate about food, people and local food systems.  They meet every couple months at the Kamloops Food Bank/Action Centre to network and support food action work in Kamloops.  For more information about the Kamloops Food Policy Council

email Laura Kalina  laura.kalina@interiorhealth.ca