Get involved

Apr
11

Join our Action Teams!

Food Forward is starting some action teams so you can become more involved in our mission and projects. There are three you can join right now:

-Membership Outreach & Fundraising

-Advocacy 

-Events and Workshops

The first will include work to grow Food Forward and the food movement with other organizations, businesses, new members and donors. Advocacy involves research, speaking/writing with politicians and bureaucrats and helping other members do so on policies we’re advancing. Events and Workshops includes planning panels, networking/food events, and entrepreneur workshops. 

We’ll support members with training/learning opportunities in these areas where possible so you can bring skills to other work. These are action teams that will meet occasionally and get stuff done, and be involved in some planning and guiding our direction – not committees big on talk-plan-talk...

If you’d like to volunteer to be on one, please email me with your contact info and team you’d like to join. Eugene: snam9156@gmail.com

Oct
30

Bien manger pour mieux vivre!

October 31 2012

by Xavier Lambert

Read en français dans LE MÉTROPOLITAIN about World Food Day Toronto and some of the work being done to address hunger and food access in Toronto and Regent Park. 

Connect with good food work in Toronto-Centre through our Food For Ward Facebook group, and read more from the Christian Resource Centre on their work and the joint Regent Park Food Partnership. We agree with David Reycraft that government must act on hunger, and are excited to profile the work being done by the community.

« J’ai faim! », c’est en ces termes que Nick Saul de la banque alimentaire The Stop s’est adressé à son auditoire au centre Daniels Spectrum situé dans le quartier de Regent Park. Il reprenait les mots d’un jeune homme qu’il avait rencontré il y a peu de temps à un feu rouge à une intersection de la ville. 

« Je n’oublierai jamais son regard intense », avouait le directeur.

La dizaine d’intervenants invités le soir du 16 octobre, date choisie par l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture comme étant la Journée mondiale de l’alimentation, à venir parler de la malnutrition à Toronto. Tous n’ont pas manqué de faire un constat inquiétant à propos du manque d’équité et d’accès à une alimentation saine pour beaucoup de nos concitoyens. 

Les statistiques sont alarmantes quand on apprend que la moitié des Torontois n’ont pas un accès facile à des produits frais et sains pour des raisons financières, d’éloignement ou des problèmes de mobilité. Les banques alimentaires ont reçu un million de visites au cours des 12 derniers mois, signe annonciateur d’une situation qui s’empire. 

« Nous aidons des personnes de plus en plus âgées ou de plus en plus jeunes », souligne David Reycraft, directeur du foyer pour sans-abri Dixon Hall. Son centre est justement situé près du quartier de Regent Park, un endroit qui reçoit un nombre important de francophones venus de pays africains comme le Congo ou le Burundi. Dans un excellent français, le directeur explique que d’autres arrivent à Toronto en suivant « les routes de la faim » qui prennent leur origine dans les Maritimes, le Québec ou bien le nord de l’Ontario. Le français figure au deuxième rang parmi les langues en croissance dans ce quartier désigné par la municipalité comme étant une zone prioritaire. 

Celina Agaton, directrice de l’organisme Films That Move et organisatrice de l’événement, ainsi que Darcy Higgins de l’organisme Food Forward, constatent qu’il existe à Toronto des « déserts », zones dans lesquelles il n’y a pas de magasins de produits frais. Les résidents doivent alors se nourrir d’une alimentation de qualité inférieure. De graves problèmes de santé s’ensuivent, nombreux sont ceux qui par exemple souffrent du diabète.

Plus: http://www.lemetropolitain.com/nouvelles.asp?nID=16984

Photo : Soupe de légumes avec de la truite servie dans une moitié de melon.

Oct
21

Drawing a line in our land

Celebrating Soupstock, we're remembering the impact of Foodstock, as well as thinking about the impact that a united food movement of the scale we're enjoying in Woodbine Park could make in creating the type of food system we envision.

Please enjoy and share this re-posted blog.

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If there’s something big we learned from our province’s 30,000+ person contribution to World Food Day – FoodStock – it’s that Ontarians (both urban and rural folk) strongly value our farmland, local food jobs, and the delicious dishes we make from it all.

This shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

Not long ago, we didn’t have the type of food culture and economy we do today.  Indeed, we had many more farmers.  But it’s unlikely we would have found tens of thousands to make the trek out to a chilly farm to make a donation, enjoy good grub and take a stand on local food.

In the past, a proposal for a giant open-pit mine would have brought out environmentalists concerned about water quality and land degradation with locals worried about the threats to their community.  And while those from the affected area have again led the charge, they have today found their broadest support from a burgeoning movement who consider food reasons the primary ones in which to put their booted feet down.

And while foodies had an enjoyable protest demanding their voices be heard against an American hedge fund buying up land for the mega quarry, another type of foodie joined forces with Occupy to set up camp in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor and many other cities for many of the same underlying reasons. 

The present system has led to the ability of corporations, speculators and hedge funds to make growing profits from higher food prices, land ownership and destruction of the commons, while farmland loss, levels of food bank use and atmospheric carbon continue to skyrocket.  As the food movement grows, links are being made among issues, from farm work to urban poverty, as are the connections within their common causes and potential solutions. 

Farmland protection is but one issue to which a busy movement must keep its attention focused.  The “stop the mega quarry” team has the strength behind it to be a winning one.  To halt the loss of farmland once and for all, this large group must also lend its attention to ongoing local battles , no matter the jurisdiction, and demand new plans to expand and strengthen the Greenbelt and make provincial legislation win ahead of gas plants, mines and sprawl.

But it also needs to create new winning alliances with farmers, farm workers and food processors to create policies that work for all different parts of the chain.  The Greenbelt, though good for the land, hasn’t brought much benefit in and of itself to the farmers.  It should also look to whom good food must feed and connect with those poorly nourished by the present food system.

A mix of good ideas (currently proposed by Sustain Ontario and its partners) could help farmers feed cities, while helping to counter the economic forces that make it valuable for farmers to sell their land.

A movement of tens of thousands will not only shift the political tide on an issue.  It can, if well-organized, demand the democratic and policy changes that will preserve farmland, and create programs to create good jobs (and to better the existing ones) that could feed local, sustainable Ontario food to all.

The cue has come from the food sovereignty and food democracy movements of the Global South, to take the food power back from the towers of greed, and into the hands of the people.

With newly elected governments, local and global sentiments for change and a food movement burgeoning onto the scene, there could not be a better time to draw a line in our land, raise our voice and say what we stand for.

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Darcy Higgins is the Executive Director of Food Forward. Originally posted Oct 17, 2010. Join Food Forward today.

darcy@pushfoodforward.com

Aug
27

Volunteer positions

Join the Food Forward team. Let us know if you can help us expand our work for good food and good food jobs in Toronto...

Outreach and Web Communications

Role: Support Food Forward outreach in Toronto and connecting local events through web promotion and in-person attendance at events.

-Research and share Toronto good food events

-Promote Food Forward activity with the broader community

-Outreach and support Food Forward activities at local events

Skills to have and develop:  Web and google tools, social media, written and verbal communications, organizational, dynamic personality

Commitment: 2-4 hours/week, 2+ month commitment

Event Organizer

Role : Help us organize meaningful and impactful events for the local community.

-Support development and delivery of Food Forward public events

-Organization of logistics: event design, speakers, bookings, materials

-Support coordination of tasks and volunteers for events

Skills to have and develop:  Event planning, verbal communications, organizational skills

Commitment: 3-4 hours/week, 2+ month commitment

New Business Training Assistant

Role : Support the development of business training for new entrepreneurs developing sustainable food businesses.

-Coordination and logistics of training sessions in Toronto

-Support development of training materials and facilitated sessions for attendees

-Promote sessions and connect with attendees to gain feedback and lessons learned

Skills to have and develop:  Event planning, written and verbal communications, social media, research, small business 

Commitment: 3-5 hours/week throughout the Fall

Food For Ward Rep

Role : Be our rep in your ward to help connect, educate, and advocate for good food work in your area.

-Participate in local events and meetings as you’re able

-Support others in our network to connect the dots of local projects, businesses, and issues

-Support development of local resources and maps, and broader advocacy

Skills to have and develop:  written and verbal communications, organizational, email and google tools, curiousity, connector, and an interest in your community and a variety of good food work 

Commitment: 2 hours/week, 3+ month commitment 

 

Contact Darcy Higgins to discuss your interest in supporting our common goals. Email: darcy@pushfoodforward.com