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
  • We are working to develop two applications for federal funding:
    • One is for a Food Forest on Town land close to the existing Gananoque Community Garden on Arthur Street.
    • The second is for a permanent Community Kitchen location in Gananoque. See our survey.
    We Could Use Your Help! 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

We first engaged Gananoque and Township of Leeds and the 1000 Islands in the spring of 2015, through a community meal, Conversation About Food. There we learned about current local food programs, discussed ideas about improving equitable access to healthy food for all, and shared ideas on what success might look like. Three themes emerged and formed our first two years of work: 1) learning about food insecurity in our area, 2) improving access to healthy food and, 3) sharing food skills. Below is the progress we reported at the second Conversation About Food event on April 5, 2017.

  • 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. Water barrels were filled by the Town of Gananoque and the Fire Department. This project has been evaluated by the participants and was followed by a second community garden at Oak Street. Growing your own food and food to share is a part of food literacy².

Our work continued on:

  • 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 GISS High School in Gananoque. 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 did this on behalf of the Gananoque and Area Food Access Network (G&AFAN). With Ms. Ableson's guidance and Mr. Brett Christopher's support from the 1000 Islands Playhouse, the class was able to take a variety of resources and information and demonstrate the humanity of it all.

    We also want to acknowledge the community members who shared their lived experiences. Big thanks as well to Marian McLeod, who together the other members of Gananoque and Area Food Access Network and Judi Wyatt from Kingston's Poverty Challenge, moved this work forward.
  • In 2018, we offered one Food Hub workshop where we heard from representatives from five food hubs/centres in other communities. We collected recommendations from participants on what details resonated with them and what they thought needed to be part of any local collective Food Hub organization. We collated these details into a mission, vision & value statements and have focused the objective 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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