Interior Health has recently invested $66,783.83 through the Community Food Action Initiative (CFAI) to support community food security projects in 16 communities throughout the region. The initiative is part of a province-wide strategy to promote food security programs and to encourage British Columbians to make healthy food choices.
“Food security is all about making sure that everyone has easy access to healthy, locally grown foods,” says Rose Soneff, Community Nutritionist with Interior Health’s Food Security and Community Nutrition program.
The CFAI initiative provided grants of up to $5,000 for a variety of projects aimed at increasing a community’s ability to contribute to the growth and development of their local food system.
Funded projects include a North Thompson joint project co-led by the Community Resource Centre for the North Thompson (CRCNT) and the North Thompson Sustainable Watershed Committee (NTSWC). This project arises from the North Thompson Food Security Action Plan that has been developed over the last year. The funding will be used to design and develop a website that will contain a wide cross-section of food related information; a community forum in Lillooet to increase awareness of the importance of food security and to establish a community food security plan; a program in Castlegar that loans out food dehydrators to help residents learn about food preservation; and a demonstration project in Kamloops that will provide access to locally grown fruits and vegetables in public spaces.
“The end goal of local food security systems is to help strengthen the overall health of a community and its residents,” says Soneff. “By improving access to healthy foods in communities, raising the profile of locally grown food, and allowing people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in their own community we are helping make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
CFAI is a collaborative effort between local communities, Interior Health’s Community Nutritionists and the Ministry of Health Services.
For more information about Food Security and Community Nutrition visit Interior Health’s website at http://www.interiorhealth.ca/choose-health.aspx?id=11690.