Community food security is achieved when everyone in a community has access to food in sufficient quantity and quality, obtained from non-emergency sources, that has been produced in a way that respects people and the environment. A Community Food Security approach focuses on developing a community's capacity to meet its own needs.
Action Communiterre is working to build community food security in NDG and the greater Montreal area through:
Food is a basic need, and a right. Sadly, people are sometimes forced to choose between eating and satisfying other basic needs at certain times in their lives. For some, such precarious situations are fleeting, the stuff of bad memories later on, however, there are others for whom economic instability is an ongoing hardship, lasting long enough to have physical as well as psychological effects.
In such circumstances, food insecurity means having to choose between eating and paying the rent or the heating bill or buying needed medications. It can mean going hungry so your children have enough to eat. It often means buying poor quality food that fills the belly but fails to nourish, and going to the food bank to pick up some canned goods. Fresh and healthy produce like organic vegetables are too often out of reach for vulnerable groups such as single-parent families and low-income seniors.
A number of community organizations are taking an innovative approach to combating food insecurity. Food banks are essential to provide emergency assistance. But there are also alternatives that bring people together to help them help themselves eat better: collective kitchens (where individuals pool resources to cook and share healthy food for themselves and their families), food buying groups (in which people join together to maximize their purchasing power and take advantage of wholesale prices), community restaurants, and, naturally, collective gardens.
The NDG Coalition for Food Security
In the wake of these meetings a network of NDG-based organizations and individuals sprang up in order to coordinate joint projects and facilitate new food security initiatives.
Some of the Coalition's projects
Coordination between the Victory Garden Network's community partners, in order to allow the network to grow and to reach more people.