Category Archives: Events, Invitations, Reminders

Invitations and reminders of upcoming events for the PEI Food Security Network and in the wider PEI community.

Living and Thriving: A Forum about Supporting Migrant Workers in PEI

You are invited to a public forum to examine the vital role of Migrant Workers in PEI’s food system and the largely policy-driven limitations that these workers face.

For some time, policies at the national and provincial level have acted as barriers to migrant workers’ rights. In PEI and across Canada, there is a growing movement to eliminate barriers for workers through public education, community solidarity, and changes to policies at national and provincial levels.

The Forum will be held at the PEI Farm Centre on Friday, April 27 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. (Registration will open at 8:30 am.) It will feature several guest speakers:

Marisa Berry Méndez (Canadian Council for Refugees), who works on issues related to the settlement and integration of refugees and other vulnerable migrants;

Gabriel Allahdua (Justice for Migrant Workers), a migrant worker from St. Lucia and member of Justice for Migrant Workers, a volunteer-run migrant worker advocacy organization located in Ontario; and

Connie Sorio (KAIROS Canada), a community organizer and advocate for the rights and welfare of temporary foreign workers in Canada.

There will be presentations and group discussions on topics such as health care, housing access, and the role of Migrant Workers in our economy. The day will conclude with a presentation of the strategies and next steps for action, as determined through participants’ discussion on each topic.

Please pre-register at Eventbrite.

This event is organized by Cooper Institute and the PEI Action Team for Migrant Worker Rights, which includes representatives from the Council of Canadians (PEI), Breaking the Silence Maritimes Guatemala Solidarity Network, PEI Food Security Network, and others. It is supported by the Canadian Union of Public Employees and CUPE-PEI, United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Church of Canada (Maritime Conference and PEI Presbytery), KAIROS and Kairos Atlantic.

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Let’s Talk Food – What Was Said

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Over eighty people attended Let’s Talk Food on November 19, 2017. They took part in many, many discussions on a diversity of topics. Read the full report here: Let’s Talk Food 2017 Report

Let’s Talk Food was hosted by the PEI Food Security Network, in partnership with the City of Charlottetown and the United Way of PEI. The event was designed to gather people together, to share their experiences and knowledge, to make connections and to develop a shared vision to inform policy and initiate collective action to create a healthy food system.

The day was designed to allow groups to form around key topics to support actions that promote food security. Participants included primary producers, preparers of food, people from faith communities and community organizations, people involved in food innovation, educators, students, government representatives, food activists and volunteers. Continue reading

Seedy Saturdays – coming up!

Hello Seed Savers! 🌾

Please check out below for really cute Valentines Day seed envelopes so you give Seeds instead of flowers as valentines. So cute, and lasts way longer than roses! Now, I know that our events all happen AFTER valentines day, but if you really don’t have any seeds to put in them, get in touch – Josie Baker – baker.josie@gmail.com – can hook you up with some lettuce and beans, though you’re on your own for the beets 😉

valentine-banner

There are dates for 3 Seedy Saturdays/Sundays across PEI this winter so far! Organizers are still looking for Volunteers, so please get in touch with Josie Baker – baker.josie@gmail.com –  if you can help out at the event or in advance!

Charlottetown: 3rd Annual SEEDY SATURDAY

February 20th from 2 to 4 pm at the Confederation Centre Library

Summerside: 2nd Annual SEEDY SUNDAY!

Febrary 28th from 2-4 pm at the Summerside Rotary Library

Montague: First Annual SEEDY SATURDAY

March 5th, from 2 to 4 pm at the Montague Rotary Library

All of these events are free, and open to everyone, even if you don’t have seed to share (yet). The seed library seed is given away for free to communities across PEI!

We also hope to have a small amount of seed for sale (to top up your new seed collection) that’s from the newly formed PEI SEED ALLIANCE! The rebel, *ahem* SEED alliance is an excellent team of small, sustainable farmers who are growing and saving high-quality seed for use by farmers and gardeners. This is the only high-quality, PEI-grown, organic seed available for sale in PEI, and it’s very exciting that this is starting up.

Community-Government Consultation on Proposed Increases to Social Assistance Food Rates

We are very pleased to post the final meeting report from the recent community-government consultation on proposed increases to social assistance food rates. It was a terrific discussion. Here is the link to the report: FULL-Food-Rates-Consultation

Healthy Food Basket

We published an overview of the meeting as a news release here.

And to read Dr. Colleen Walton’s written submission to the consultation on behalf of the PEI Food Security Network, you can read it in the report appendix or below:

Prince Edward Island Food Security Network
response to
Food Rate Increases for Social Assistance Clients
Department of Community Services and Seniors
May 15, 2014

On behalf of the PEI Food Security Network I am honoured to bring forth our response to the Department of Community Services and Seniors’ “consultation on increases in Social Assistance Food Rates in PEI”. The Food Security Network is comprised of more than 150 organizations and individuals; all of whom have a common vision to alleviate food insecurity in PEI. Specifically our vision is that all Island households have sufficient social and economic resources to ensure year-round access to adequate quantities of nutritious food through socially acceptable, dignified means.

One important action toward this ideal is to increase social assistance food allowances. We applaud the Department of Community Services and Seniors for consulting with our group and many others as they prepare their plan for these increases. We are encouraged that the Minister and department have accepted the long overdue challenge to address inadequate food allowances for individuals and families who receive social assistance.

The strategy of indexing these increases with the increases in the consumer price index of food in PEI is important and good news. We were also encouraged that the increases proposed in the five year plan would be front loaded to achieve equity among the social assistance sub-groups in the first two years. Although unspecified for this first two years, we believe a minimum target for equity among the sub-groups must be at least the current maximum of 65% of the cost a nutritious basket of foods.

We oppose the 5 year target of 70% of the cost of a nutritious food basket. The only acceptable target for food assistance allowances is 100% of the cost of a nutritious basket of food. This target needs to be achieved in the shortest possible timeframe. To target less than 100%, is to propose a plan that consciously leaves children and adults in food insecurity and thereby limits their educational and economic productivity due to poor nutrition and health.

The fact that cost of the nutritious food basket has not been recently examined across PEI and that we are relying on Regional average food costs unfortunately limits our knowledge of whether even 100% is sufficient for all social assistance households. For people with limited money and transportation, and those in the rural areas, it is more difficult to access the large stores where foods tend to be less expensive. Anecdotal evidence suggests that nutritious foods such as milk, fruit, vegetables and meat are more expensive in rural areas. The lack of PEI-based food costing may also put Islanders with health conditions that require special diets (eg. Celiac disease, diabetes) at a greater disadvantage. Without PEI data, the cost of these special diet foods may be even higher in rural areas rendering the any proposed increases in the food allowance ineffective at reducing food insecurity and promoting good health.  For these reasons we encourage the department to reinstate nutritious food basket costing on a regular basis. With current and complete local data, the food allowances can accurately be assessed against the costs to clearly identify their sufficiency.

Food is a modestly elastic expenditure. In households with insufficient money the portion of the household budget allotted to food is often reduced to adequately cover the in-flexible costs of other critical living expenses such as rent, heat, electricity. With less money for food, people purchase foods that are cheap and filling. These foods typically provide excess energy, fat, salt and sugar but do not contribute important vitamins and minerals, such as those found in vegetables, fruit, meat and milk, and which are necessary for good health. In order that the food allowance is able to have the intended effect of reducing food insecurity, it is imperative that all SA allowances be increased annually and indexed to the CPI.

Food insecurity has been described as a “wicked problem”. Such social problems are difficult to solve and there are many differing views on approaches to mitigate their negative outcomes. What is clear is that an intelligent, empathetic and interdisciplinary approach is necessary. Changing social assistance allowances is only one piece of the solution to alleviate food insecurity. Addressing food insecurity among the working poor in PEI is particularly pressing.

The Food Security Network therefore proposes that the Department of Community Services and Seniors be leaders in establishing a working committee across multiple provincial government departments, including Health, Education, Innovation among others; municipal and community leaders, who often have a role in affordable housing and local interventions; and advocacy groups. The mandate of the committee would be to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of food insecurity in PEI. This multi-organizational multi-disciplinary working group would elevate PEI to the status of a leader in addressing household food insecurity in Canada and in designing a model aimed at achieving a sustainable, healthy and productive population. PEI would become a model for other provinces to follow in addressing Food Insecurity.

 

 

 

Cinema Politica for World Food Day

To celebrate World Food Day 2012, on Tuesday October 16th,
Cinema Politica and the PEI Food Security Network present the documentary FRESH – 7 p.m. at Murphy’s Community Centre

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy: http://www.cinemapolitica.org/fr/node/5522

Food Skills Workshop Kit Launched

Hello All,

I wanted to send out a quick note to inform you of a new resource that the Food Security Network of NL (FSN-NL) has developed that may be of use to other food security organizations across the country.

I am thrilled to announce that FSN-NL has launched a Food Skills Workshop Kit earlier this week as part of our Root Cellars Rock initiative (www.rootcellarsrock.ca)! The Workshop Kit is a new resource for community groups to host hands-on workshops building local food skills and preserving traditional food knowledge, on 8 topics – Container Gardening, Composting, Seed Saving, Edible Wild Plants, Cooking with Local Vegetables, Using Culinary Herbs, Canning/Bottling, and Storing food in Root Cellars. Each of the workshop guides include information, resources, and activity guides covering each topic in depth.

As your organization is also working to advance food security in Canada, FSN-NL would like to invite you to review the Food Skills Workshops and use them as a resource where beneficial. Please share this information within your organization and forward it on to others that may be interested.

The workshops are now available on the Root Cellars Rock website at: http://rootcellarsrock.ca/food-skills-workshops/ or on the FSN website at: http://www.foodsecuritynews.com/rcr-workshops.html
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments regarding the Food Skills Workshops Kit.
Thank you,
Kristie

Kristie Jameson
Executive Director
Food Security Network NL
Tel: 709-237-4026 / 4126
Fax: 709-237-4231
kristiejameson@foodsecuritynews.com
http://www.foodsecuritynews.com
http://www.rootcellarsrock.ca/blog

Event of Interest – Tomorrow!

Dear Food Security Network Members,

Please see notice below regarding an upcoming workshop this Thursday, from Rose Mary Garrett.

I just wanted to personally invite each one of you to the upcoming Agriculture Educators’ Workshop which will be held on Thursday, July 5th, 2012, at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown, 420 University Avenue. This workshop is brought to you as a result of a partnership of the PEI Agriculture Sector Council and the PEI Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. We hope that you consider joining us for a very fun and engaging day!

Agriculture Educators’ Workshop (Thursday, July 5th, 2012 – 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

How would you like to take a day this summer to meet up with other educators who are passionate about finding ways to incorporate agriculture into the classroom? Have you ever wondered how you could make better use of that greenhouse at your school? What about having an indoor light garden in the lobby of your school? How about taking a look in that recycle bag to find some unique ways to grow food and other plants in your class? The theme for this year’s one-day agriculture workshop is “Urban Agriculture”.

A few of the topics to be covered at this workshop include: Greenhouse Horticulture Therapy, Making Something from Nothing: Growing in the Classroom with No Budget, Rooftop Gardening and Living Walls, and Setting up Your School Greenhouse. In addition, teachers will have the opportunity to take a walking tour of Charlottetown’s Demonstration Gardens and Urban Edible Gardens or a tour of VanKampen’s Greenhouse. Join us for conversation and a quaint, picnic lunch along the way showcasing Island products prepared by our local chef from The Best Plate Forward. Sign up and receive an engaging package of current agriculture resources.

To sign up for the workshop, please contact Rose Mary at the PEI Agriculture Sector Council: rmgarrett@peiagsc.ca.

Thanks and looking forward to seeing everyone on July 5th!

Please note that this is not a PEI Food Security Network initiative. For more information on this event, please contact the coordinators directly. Thanks!
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