Food

About Our Work with Food

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EcoSuperior is proud to work in support of the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy (TBAFS), aimed to “connect food and community”. The TBAFS is committed to creating a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system that contributes to the economic, ecological, and social well-being and health of the City of Thunder Bay and Area.

Guided by a Strategic Action Plan, the TBAFS promotes “regional food self-reliance, healthy environments, and thriving economies”, which was developed through multiple rounds of consultation with community leaders and stakeholders in order to meet the region’s food system needs. The TBAFS was built on seven key pillars; intended to integrate the core elements of a healthy, equitable and sustainable food system in the region:

 

 

screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 Food Access
screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 forests and freshwater foods
screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 Food infrastructure
screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 food procurement
screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 food production
screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 school food environments
screen-shot-2021-01-11-at-4 Urban Agriculture

TBAFS History in the Bay

The TBAFS was established after decades of collaboration and community-led efforts to create a more healthy, equitable and sustainable food system for the region. Leadership from the Food Action Network brought together a diverse range of sectors to draft the Thunder Bay Food Charter (2008). This document served as an overview of the collective vision for a healthy, equitable and sustainable food system and a framework for policy, planning, research, and program development at the municipal and regional levels. It focused on five key priorities: 1) Building community economic development; 2) Ensuring social justice; 3) Fostering population health; 4) Celebrating culture and collaboration; and, 5) Preserving environmental integrity.

In 2008, the Charter was endorsed by the City of Thunder Bay, the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, and 33 other municipalities and organizations in the region. In 2012, community leaders gathered at a regional food summit and agreed to develop a food strategy as a way to identify strategic action priorities and implement the Charter. After extensive consultation and deliberation, in 2014 the TBAFS was presented and endorsed by seven municipalities in the Thunder Bay area (Thunder Bay, Neebing, Oliver Paipoonge, Shuniah, Gillies, Conmee, O’Connor).

Structure & Network

thunder bay food outdoors

Today, the TBAFS functions as a Food Policy Council/Group. Our primary work is to collect, integrate and disseminate information, and to support food systems efforts in the region. TBAFS is directed by an Executive Committee, and more broadly by a Council. There is one staff Coordinator. TBAFS receives seed funding from the City of Thunder Bay, three rural municipalities, as well as through fee-for-service contracts. Some examples of TBAFS projects include: the Community Food Security Report Card, the Inventory of School Food Environments, the annual Northwest Nosh magazine, and the Food and Agriculture Market Study.

An Executive Committee provides overall direction and guidance to a staff Coordinator and the TBAFS Council and consists of members representing key sectors including agriculture, Indigenous food sovereignty, economic development, policy, public health, food access/non-profit, research and education, as well as municipal representatives (urban, rural and First Nations).

The TBAFS Council which is made up of about 50 organizational representatives and regional municipalities includes representation from additional sectors including government, advocacy, institutional, environmental, and emergency food providers. The Council meets bi-annually to share information and ideas across sectors, and to provide oversight and strategic advice regarding the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan.

TBAFS works closely with the Indigenous Food Circle (IFC) which is a network of 22 Indigenous-led and Indigenous-serving organizations to ensure that all food systems work is considered through an Indigenous lens. Drawing on concepts of Indigenous food sovereignty that emphasizes the connection to land-based food and political systems, the IFC aims to support and develop the capacity of Indigenous peoples to articulate and respond to relevant challenges and opportunities and to improve food-related programming and policy.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact EcoSuperior’s Food Strategy Coordinator Karen Kerk at: E: foodstrategy@ecosuperior.org T: (807) 624 2147

 

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