The City of Charlottetown, in partnership with the United Way and the PEI Food Security Network, will host a food summit on Thursday, November 9 to share ideas and develop projects to move food security initiatives forward in Charlottetown. This free event will be held at the Murchison Centre (17 St. Pius X Avenue) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required via: https://citycharlottetown.wufoo.eu/forms/z1e7u7rw0cn1skr/
"Having physical and economical access to safe and healthy food to meet dietary needs is a basic human right," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "Food security, or lack thereof, is a global issue. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we do think the dialogue needs to be open, and everyone – including all levels of government – has a role to play in finding a solution or, at the very least, trying to improve the situation."
PEI is fortunate to be acknowledged for the high quality food it produces for Islanders and for export and the impact it has on our local economy, but for many Islanders access to food is still a major concern. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey (2014), 15.2 percent of households in Prince Edward Island experience some degree of food insecurity. At the same time, the people who are producing food face their own challenges and uncertainties in the face of climate change, such as the rising costs of production, access to land and fluctuations in global markets.
Let’s Talk Food will bring together people with an interest in food security, including farmers, fishers, government agencies, chefs, community organizations, educators, and retailers to discuss challenges and opportunities in the food system in PEI. The event will be participant-led using Open Space format in order to engage attendees in meaningful conversations, support connections between participants and develop key action-oriented outcomes from the day.
"We reached out to community-based organizations, as well as government representatives, to assess interest and the need for this event in Charlottetown, and the support for moving ahead has been overwhelming," said Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy, Chair of the City’s Environment and Sustainability committee. "We would like to thank the PEI Food Security Network and the United Way for coming on board as partners, and for being dedicated to collaborating for solutions."
This event will contribute to several goals and actions that were identified in the 2017 Integrated Community Sustainability Plan through discussion, planning and idea sharing. Some of those goals include: working with community stakeholders to develop a food procurement policy for the City corporation and the community; incorporating food security into urban planning to ensure land use policies encourage food access in every neighbourhood; and, working with community stakeholders to develop a food security strategy for PEI.
"We’re looking forward to hearing from people their ideas about how to make our food system more resilient, and fair to everyone," said Ann Wheatley of the PEI Food Security Network. "We all eat, so we’re all part of that system. And we all have a part to play in creating public policy that ensures, not only that everyone has access to enough healthy food, but that our food is produced in environmentally responsible ways and that the people growing and harvesting food are treated fairly, across the board."
"We are very fortunate to have received proceeds from the 2017 Give Back Burger campaign in order to address the food needs of Islanders today, as well as look at collaborative solutions to root causes of food security on PEI," said Andrea MacDonald, CEO for the United Way. "We are excited to hear from the community and stakeholders who will work together to identify long-term solutions."
To pre-register, visit: https://citycharlottetown.wufoo.eu/forms/z1e7u7rw0cn1skr/
To read more from the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, visit: www.charlottetown.ca/sustainablecity.php
City of Charlottetown