Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Foodcore

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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Foodcore
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Foodcore

Gananoque and Area Food Access Network

The Gananoque and Area Food Access Network (G&AFAN) is made up of community volunteers, educators, and local agency representatives who follow the community’s lead to fulfil our:

Mission:

The Gananoque and Area Food Access Network supports the residents of the Town of Gananoque and the Township of Leeds & the Thousand Islands to access healthy food.

Vision:

Residents of the Town of Gananoque and the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands are accessing, growing, preparing and enjoying nutritious, safe and affordable food.

Values:
  • Our work values the need to be accessible to people from all walks of life, of all physical capabilities and of all financial strengths.
  • We value the role that cooking and eating together can play in our work.
  • We value the need to plan 1) so that the community voice is heard and, 2) to consider the risks if our plans are unsuccessful.
  • Being involved in the community means 1) creating feelings of ownership/recognition/partnership by the community and, 2) looking for shared opportunities and assets.
  • We value locally grown and produced foods.
CURRENT WORK

Work to develop a food forest is advancing and led by Pam Hudson in collaboration with many including the Gananoque Community Gardens, the Town of Gananoque and the Rotary Club. To learn more please email Pam at phudson.gananoquelibrary@gmail.com with “food forest” in the email subject line.

Since 2018, with a Covid-required pause, we have been working on the establishment of a community kitchen in Gananoque. Most recently we heard from residents through a survey, generously supported by community volunteers. The 131 responses confirmed great interest from learners and trainers to use an inspected community kitchen for improving cooking skills, with food handler certification, to prepare meals for those in need, by those who would rent the kitchen for use by service clubs or for commercial preparation of for-profit food items, and for community food programming by the library, local health care providers and others. In addition to survey results, we have many other pieces of information required for grant proposals.

Our biggest need is an applicant for funds as G&AFAN is a network of many but not a registered charity or non-profit group. Would you help with this? We are happy to present our plans. Please let us know.

Your letter of support would also be welcome letting us know how your organization or group would use a community kitchen or how you see access to healthy food as a local goal that is in line with your mandate.

A 1000 thanks for sticking with us! You can reach us care of foodcoreLGL through email at foodcorelgl@gmail.com or by calling toll free 1-800-660-5853 - ask for “foodcore”.

PAST WORK

All along we’ve engaged Gananoque and Township of Leeds and the 1000 Islands residents in our work including two ‘Conversation About Food’ community meals in 2015 and 2017. Both were hosted by the GISS culinary arts program. We learned about local food programs, discussed ideas about improving equitable access to healthy food for all, sharing food skills, learning about food insecurity in the area and what success might look like. Progress included:

  • In 2016, with support from Queens University researcher Dr. Elaine Power and her Masters student Madison Koekkoek we heard from and responded to citizens who live with food insecurity¹.
  • With the support of the Town of Gananoque, Home Hardware, the Rotary Club, Thornbusch Landscaping, Westgate, and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, we collectively built up the pre-existing Arthur Street Community Garden to offer 22 raised beds and one accessible higher raised bed, all protected by metal fencing, for the growing season of 2016. A second garden followed at Oak Street. Participants evaluate the gardens. Water is courtesy of the Town and the Township. Growing your own food and food to share is a part of food literacy².
  • It is a privilege to share this link with you. It leads to the work of Ms. Ableson’ s 2018-2019 first term drama class at the Gananoque Intermediate & Secondary School. With her guidance and that of Mr. Brett Christopher from the 1000 Islands Playhouse, they wrote, performed and staged the one-act play, Helping Hands. They took on a difficult and sensitive topic, the subject of food insecurity, which is the inability to purchase nutritious food due to insufficient income. The class was able to take a variety of resources and information and demonstrate the humanity of it all. We acknowledge with gratitude the community members who shared their lived experiences.
  • In 2018, we offered a Food Hub workshop featuring representatives from five food hubs/centres in other communities. Attendees shared what resonated with them and their thoughts on the needs for any local collective Food Hub organization. These details formed our mission, vision & value statements and focused our current work on the development of a community kitchen.
For more information about:

You can reach us care of foodcoreLGL through email at foodcorelgl@gmail.com or by calling toll free 1-800-660-5853 - ask for “foodcore”.

GLOSSARY

¹Food insecurity means not having enough money to buy nutritious food. It is an income-based issue, not a food-based issue. Read the Position Statement on Responses to Food Insecurity (2015) by the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH) and research from PROOF at the University of Toronto.

²Foodliteracy.ca defines food literacy as “a set of interconnected attributes organized into the categories of food and nutrition knowledge, skills, self-efficacy/confidence, food decisions, and other ecologic (external) factors such as income security, and the food system.”

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