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

Jul
25
Wed
Challenges and Opportunities of the Aging Population: Meet and Greet with Vance Badaway, MP and David Lametti, MP @ Club Capri
Jul 25 @ 9:00 am

Vance Badaway, MP and David Lametti, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, are hosting an open house and meet and greet at Club Capri on Wednesday, July 25 at 9 a.m.

Both are interesting in listening to some of the concerns and challenges of the aging population. Please join them at Club Capri for this informal gathering if you are interesting in providing some valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities for older adults currently and in the future.

Background information:

Gambling Behaviours in Older Adults @ Online
Jul 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

How Gambling Behaviours of Older Men and Women Challenge Previous Research on Gender and Gambling

Presenter: Mark van der Maas, PhD

This webinar will discuss new research findings on how gambling behaviours of older men and women challenge previous notions on the relationship between gender and gambling.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the over-representation of men among people with problem gambling in general population studies and young adults.
  2. Describe the recent results of casino and general population research finding similar rates of gambling and problem gambling among older adults (55+).
  3. Explain how previous assumptions of the relationship between gender and problem gambling may need to be reassessed in the context of older adulthood.

This webinar is hosted by CAMH.

What’s Growin’ On Open House @ Victoria Avenue Farm
Jul 25 @ 6:00 pm

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre invites you to Victoria Avenue Farm for What’s Growin’ On Open House.

This is a great opportunity to learn about Vineland’s latest developments in horticulture at their research farm.

Register each participant for a tour spot. Due to space limitations, attendance is restricted to the first 140 registrants.

Register online by July 24th, 2018.

This open house is hosted by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Jul
27
Fri
World Hepatitis Day @ Montebello Park
Jul 27 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Know your status? Get tested, learn your options

The Hepatitis C Care Clinic is hosting a World Hepatitis Day event at Montebello Park on July 27.

There will be free food and refreshments, live music and entertainment, private testing and health teaching, and a community health fair with information displays.

Community partners are invited to provide an information display at the community awareness day to share with the residents of Niagara the great care and services you provide each day. For more information, contact Karen Usick at 905-378-4647 ext. 32555.

This event is hosted by the Hepatitis C Care Clinic at Niagara Health.

Jul
30
Mon
Youth and Cannabis Legalization: Prevention, Education, and Harm Reduction @ Brock University - Academic South 217
Jul 30 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Niagara Region Public Health and the Brock University Centre for Lifespan Development Research invites you to attend a session titled Youth and Cannabis Legalization: Prevention, Education, and Harm Reduction, presented by Dr. Jenna Valleriani.

Dr. Valleriani is a post-doctoral fellow at the BC Centre on Substance Use and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, has extensive experience and has played a role in cannabis legalization while engaging youth in the process (see below for full bio).

The presentation will provide an overview of the current and future policy landscape in Canada, focus on the rational for a public health approach to cannabis legalization, and discuss youth cannabis prevention and education in a new context.

Dr. Valleriani will draw on her research experience and experience working with young people on youth-driven approaches to cannabis education, as well as a recent literature review of harms pertaining to youth and cannabis.

The talk will conclude by focusing on current dominant approaches to drug education and evidence around effectiveness, the increasing importance of meaningfully including young people in cannabis education efforts, and the inclusion of approaches which address age-appropriate evidence-based information about cannabis, its use and effects, as well as harm reduction strategies.

Lunch will be included and parking is complimentary. RSVP to Lucretia Harris by Thursday, July 26 (see contact information above). Please notify of any dietary restrictions.

This session is hosted by Niagara Region Public Health and the Brock University Centre for Lifespan Development Research.

Jul
31
Tue
What Lenders Want @ Innovate Niagara
Jul 31 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Join Innovate Niagara for an afternoon seminar on What Lenders Want. Joan Hodge of Meridian Credit Union and Volker Loetfering of Venture Niagara will be giving an insider’s view of what lenders want and how to best position your business for financing.

Volker Loetfering is the Business Loans Officer at Venture Niagara CFDC which provides business advisory services and loans to existing small businesses and startups in Niagara. His professional background includes financial advisor, sales & marketing manager and international business development manager. He has worked in various industry verticals throughout his career including manufacturing, distribution, retail, information technology, market research and financing.

Joan Hodge is a Senior Small Business Advisor with Meridian Credit Union. Joan’s goal is to provide financial business solutions that enable you, a Small Business owner, to move your business forward. Joan has more than 20 years experience in financial services in roles ranging from financial planning to personal lending and branch administration. Joan believes that Small Business is the cornerstone of our country and is proud to work alongside many Small Business owners.

This seminar is hosted by Innovate Niagara.

Aug
6
Mon
Civic Holiday
Aug 6 all-day

SPONSORS

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Explore Our Network

Get Connected

Sign up to receive communications from Niagara Connects! We will keep you connected with what’s going on in our community, without spamming your inbox. Get started now!
NiagaraConnects-logo
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
Copyright © 2018 Niagara Connects. All rights reserved.