We all need to eat. We all realize that food nourishes our bodies. And many of us realize that our community food systems, as they presently stand, are not as secure as they were 50 years ago. But things are changing…and in many ways, they are changing back to how we used to relate to food.
Welcome to a new chapter of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. It is with deep appreciation and excited anticipation that I welcome you to our new website and introduce you to our new blog, Food for Thought. There is a very dynamic shift taking place around food. It is called Community Food Security. This shift is positive, filled with inspiring people and organizations that are collaborating and working hard at community engagement and capacity building.
This shift is looking to ensure that not only will communities have access to wholesome, affordable foods but they will also share the skills amongst themselves that are necessary to grow, harvest, cook, preserve and store these foods.
You don’t have to look very far to see community gardens and orchards growing by leaps and bounds, local neighbourhood houses transforming into community kitchens and community centers playing host to food skills programs and food security meetings.
Farmers’ markets, school food gardens, farm to school(cafeteria) programs and new food coalitions/networks are all valued contributors to this new wave of the food movement. As someone who has been a big advocate for community kitchens and all related initiatives, I am very encouraged about what is happening at the grassroots level with community and food.
Yet the burning question is...what role do food banks play in this movement? Where do food banks fit in? While I have ideas and opinions, as someone who has worked for the Food Bank for the past 14 years, I also know it is not for food banks to answer alone. For us at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, we are experiencing 2012 as a year of transition, of exploration and endless possibilities.
Food is a perfect connector. It is time to engage and contribute in meaningful change on a community level. Community Food Security is where it’s at – working together to make things happen, working towards one common goal. Good, healthy, accessible food for all.
It’s Food for Thought. And we look forward to the conversation.
Contributed by: Diane Collis, Manager, Fresh Choice Kitchens