Food security sounds very formal, but its essence is quite simple. If you have access to adequate quantities of healthy food when you need it, you are food secure. If you struggle to be able to afford healthy food, then you might be food insecure. A community has food security when it builds networks to grow, harvest, and share healthy food with everyone.
Food security is part of a bigger picture of local self-reliance as well. Communities are becoming more interested in creating local networks of transportation, education, and food. Some of these communities are very urban, some are rural, and some are in the suburbs. By growing our own food in our own communities, we increase everyone’s ability to eat healthy local food, now and in the future.
How does food security happen? There are many ways.
- Creating school and community gardens
- Growing urban gardens on balconies and rooftops
- Sharing yard space with your neighbour so that everyone can grow food
- Growing garden plots in back and front yard gardens
- Harvesting and gleaning unwanted food and sharing it with those in need
- Visiting farmers’ markets and building new ones
- Developing links between farmers and those who eat the food that they grow
On the North Shore, organizations that work on food security include:
The North Shore Fruit Tree Project – Nourishing community
The Edible Garden Project – Grows and shares food with those in need
GardenSmart programs are free urban gardening workshops.
EcoUrbia, a North Shore network focused on environmental awareness
Vancouver Coastal Health through its Urban Agriculture Grants
The Lower Lonsdale Community Garden
The North Shore Community Garden Society
The Queen Mary Community Garden