To the editor;
In the upcoming BC election, local food security should be on our candidates’ minds.
I am writing to tell voters about some action the Kamloops Food Policy Council is taking. The KFPC has existed since 1995 and has initiated many familiar projects in the city such as Public Produce, the Food Share program at the food bank, GardenGate and the City of Kamloops’ Food Action Plan. With the provincial election coming up, we believe it’s time to talk about why our local food economy is important, and to engage political candidates on issues confronting food security in the Kamloops North and South Thompson ridings.
A food policy council mandate is to work with governments and agencies to create new policies that strengthen the local food system in Kamloops. Many policies that are currently in place work against the farmer and local food. For example, there are too many barriers that prevent B.C. government funded institutions from purchasing locally produced food.
Kamloops residents are currently overly reliant on distant food sources and the highway network. I believe food security relies on increased local food production and processing, and on farmers who are supported by policies and infrastructure, informed local consumers and a sustainable livelihood. Across our community, the skills of food growing, processing and cooking are diminishing when, given the uncertainty of our times, they should be enhanced.
The Food Policy Council will be sending a questionnaire to all candidates in both Kamloops ridings, requesting information about each party’s platform as it relates to food. We will publish the results before the election on our website, www.kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com. During the election campaign, we aim to raise awareness of the steps needed to create a vibrant, resilient, and local food economy.
Carole Hebden, BSc, MEd.
Kamloops Food Policy Council