Call to Action to Build a Food Systems Network for Niagara

People working in Niagara’s food continuum are developing shared understanding and common language to describe how a healthy, secure, sustainable food landscape contributes to Niagara’s social, political and economic vitality. Food Systems in Niagara is a topic that represents the cycles and interconnections of growing, distributing, eating and recycling of food.

In 2015 and 2016, Niagara Connects engaged over 100 people in the Food Systems conversation. These individuals work in: growing, preparation, consumption, access, processing, marketing, distribution, agritourism, education, nutrition, health, research, business, economic development, employment, waste/disposal, environmental sustainability, policy and government.

Eight (8) Food Systems in Niagara Building Blocks were gathered and reviewed. These include a 2015 network map that illustrates connections and lines of communication among 210 people from 143 organizations in the food continuum in Niagara and beyond.  Eleven (11) inter-connected food systems categories were identified: Agriculture; Land Use Planning; Local Food; Economic Development; Food Distribution; Retail and Food Outlets; Food Security and Poverty Reduction; Health; Child and School; Education and Research; Garden and Food Skills.

Food Systems in Niagara Map was co-created, to show the inter-connected, complex web of assets that make up our food system. Six (6) Suggested Action Steps to advance this work for Niagara were identified. The full report is available here.

Opportunities and suggested next steps include:

  • Take a Collective Impact approach to diverse food systems players sharing relevant, reliable data as a means to understand internal and external factors affecting Niagara’s food continuum, and make connections that spark innovations.
  • Convene a Reference Group of leaders that looks at local, provincial, national and international food systems, to identify components, interplay and contributing factors that benefit Niagara.
  • Better understand where food systems work in Niagara fits into, and can benefit from broader related work in the Golden Horseshoe, Ontario, Canada and beyond.
  • Explore food literacy and how it relates to Niagara health outcomes and personal and community economic prosperity. Examine how food literacy (and food skills) relate to people’s broader levels of literacy, living conditions, life experiences, and access to food and facilities.
  • Gain an understanding of vulnerabilities of Niagara’s food systems to climate impacts such as quality, quantity, accessibility and governance of water; and extreme weather conditions and events.
  • Explore food as a powerful force to draw people together to build up their capacity to experience security and prosperity. Relate this to the broader work of the #Rethink Niagara systems approach to investing in the people of Niagara.

If you see yourself and the work of your organization, network or business in this work, please join us for an April 20, 2017 shared learning and working session: Building a Food Systems Network for Niagara.

Mary Wiley
Executive Director
Niagara Connects
ed@niagaraconnects.ca

Background Information:

 

 

 

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Oct
15
Mon
Introduction to Grief Intervention Over the Life Course @ Online
Oct 15 all-day

Death is an unavoidable part of life that becomes increasingly more apparent with age. It is beneficial for your practice to obtain the fundamentals of grief intervention and be equipped to address dying and death circumstances.

During this 4-week online workshop, you will be provided with a concise overview including resources, exercises and an opportunity to share so you gain comfort with the topic and insight in order to help others with confidence through death related circumstances of loss and grief.

This workshop series is hosted by the University of Toronto.

Oct
16
Tue
West Niagara: Shared Learning Local Hub Session @ Employment Help Centre
Oct 16 @ 9:30 am

Shared Learning Local Hub sessions are being held in 5 areas across Niagara for front-line community service and outreach workers to:

  • Connect for shared learning;
  • Share ideas and best practice information to enable client success; and
  • Strengthen relationships concerning clients’ access to services and benefits.

Presentation: Karen Fraser, Niagara Poverty Reduction Network

Please RSVP your attendance to flowe@employmenthelp.org.

Research and Innovation in Aging Forum: Aging, Technology and Privacy @ Online
Oct 16 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Apps in wearable tech such as fitbits and smart watches, and phones, are used to collect small pieces of health data such as pulse, heart rate, and regularity as well as information including what appointments (e. g. with doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists etc) are being made and the health-related products purchased.

Like credit data, these detailed health markers could be used in algorithms, grouping users by behavioural and risk assessment parameters. All of this data could then be gathered into a ‘wellness report.’

Like credit reports, the wellness report would be susceptible to errors that could take days or months to correct and may require experts and medical tests to disprove errors. Credit reporting companies are financially supported by banks, businesses and lenders.

The wellness report would be a resource that insurers, long term care facilities, health care providers could exploit to gauge the risk associated with the provision of service.

This scoping review examines existing knowledge concerning the data currently being collected and explores novel data combinations and the risk to privacy and autonomy that these pose to older adults. Results confirm the privacy challenges of Big Data and suggest remedies that need to be explored before these usages become commonplace.

Objectives:

  • Review technology that ‘supports’ healthy aging for people aging in place and in their community
  • Discuss data collected and novel applications of that information
  • Promote the prevention of unintended and intended violations of older adult’s privacy and autonomy

This webinar is hosted by the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health.

Financial Concerns and Role of the Power of Attorney @ Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region
Oct 16 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region invites you to attend this public forum focused on Financial Concerns and Role of the Power of Attorney.

This forum is presented by:

  • Dion McParland, Family Support Counsellor for the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region
  • Bryce Murray, Heelis Little Almas & Murray LLP

Registration is required by phone (905-687-3914) or by filling out the online registration form.

This event is hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.

Oct
17
Wed
Fall Lecture Series: Music That Moves Us – From Rhythm to Social Behaviour @ Armenian Community Centre
Oct 17 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Lifelong Learning Niagara offers a six week lecture series twice a year, spring and fall in a variety of academic topics to stimulate and enlighten our senior population in the Niagara Region.

Speaker: Dr. Laurel Trainor, Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University; Director of LIVELab, McMaster University; Research Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Hospital, Toronto

Rhythms are powerful because their regularity enables us to predict when important information will occur next. Dr. Trainor will talk about how rhythms shape our perception, how they are processed in the brain, and how rhythm processing develops in children.

She will describe brain studies that explain why music makes us want to move in time to its beat, and show how moving in synchrony with others affects our willingness to cooperate with those people, even in infancy.

This event is hosted by Lifelong Learning Niagara.

Working With Patients Who Use Substances: Assessment, Brief Interventions and Strategies @ St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton - Upper Auditorium
Oct 17 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This intensive 3-hour interactive educational session will focus on assessment, practical brief interventions and strategies that can be incorporated into working with patients who use substances.

This session can be attended in-person or remotely.

Presenter: Megan Hemlow, Project Manager, Mental Health and Addictions Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant Local Health Integration Network.

This session is hosted by the Concurrent Disorders Capacity Building Team.

Dementia: Community Resources, Caregiving and Research @ Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
Oct 17 @ 6:30 pm

The Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region invites you to join a special presentation on Dementia: Community Resources, Caregiving and Research.

Come and be part of the live audience, as this presentation will be taped for YouTube.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William Brown, Professor of Neurology, McMaster University Medical School
  • Gerry Bucsis, Family Support Counsellor, Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region

This event is hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.

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Niagara Knowledge Exchange is powered by a Niagara-wide network of people for collaboration, planning, learning, innovation and community action toward a stronger future for Niagara. We work hard to help foster a culture of Niagara-focused research and evidence-informed planning to support your community development innovations. To learn more about Niagara Connects, please visit our central website: www.niagaraconnects.ca or contact us: Email: info@niagaraconnects.ca, Phone: 905-688-6236
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