Programs and Services Offered - Food Security
What is Food Security?
"Community food security is defined as a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice."
Hamm and Bellows, J Nutr Educ Behav. 2003; 35:27-43
York Region Community and Health Services, Nutrition Services, is involved in a variety food security initiatives and partnerships:
Every year Nutrition Services updates the list of Food Access Programs and Services in York Region, such as food banks, youth programs, women's services, and community meals. This list is used by community groups and individuals to find out about different food-related resources around York Region.
Nutrition Services partners with the York Region Food Network (YRFN), a registered charity working on food security issues in York Region. YRFN's vision is "Food for health – food for all". One of YRFN's projects that Nutrition Services has collaborated on is the Locally Grown Guides to Fresh Food. Visit York Region Food Network to access this and other resources.
YRFN produces a report called Hunger in the Midst of Prosperity, an annual report about who uses food banks and why they need them.
The Fresh Food Partners Gleaning Program links local farmers with community members on a limited income. At the end of the each harvest season participants glean (pick) produce from local farmers' fields for themselves and their families at no cost. For more information about the Gleaning Program, please call 905-895-4512 or 1-800-735-6625 ext. 4339.
York Region Food for Learning is a diverse community partnership that supports student nourishment programs which enhance learning and health. York Region Food for Learning provides expertise, funding, and resources to develop and sustain breakfast and snack programs. Please see the Food for Learning website for a listing of schools at which to volunteer, or to learn more about breakfast and snack programs.
ABC – All Babies Count: This Prenatal Nutrition Program is a free weekly nutrition program for pregnant women in York Region who are at greater risk for health issues during and after pregnancy. At the ABC Programs, moms-to-be connect with peers, participate in making healthy meals and snacks and receive hands-on nutrition and health education sessions run by a nutrition educator and public health nurses.
The York Region Food Charter outlines the community's vision for food and agriculture. Based on five pillars, the Food Charter highlights the connections between economic opportunities, education and skills, health and well-being, equity and social justice, and environmental sustainability, in forming a healthy, vibrant, resilient food system in York Region.
Related Food Security Links:
FoodNet Ontario: A province-wide network of organizations and individuals working together to create sustainable local food systems and achieve community food security in communities across Ontario.
Ryerson Centre for Studies in Food Security: The centre promotes food security through research, dissemination, education, community action and professional practice.
Toronto Food Policy Council: The council partners with business and community groups to develop policies and programs promoting food security.
Thought About Food?: This is a workbook on food security and influencing policy.
York Region Farm Fresh: This brochure highlights where you can purchase or pick local produce at farms across York Region.
Income Related Household Food Security in Canada: This report provides national and provincial estimates of income-related food security at the household, adult and child level based on a standard multiple-indicator measure of food security.
Food Secure Canada: Food Secure Canada is an alliance of organizations and individuals collaborating to advance dialogue and cooperation for policies and programs that improve food security in Canada and globally.
Bits and Bytes: This website is a collection of freely-accessible, community food security resources. It provides credible information that is useful to community activists, academics, policy makers, farmers and anyone interested in food security.
The Canadian Association for Food Studies: The Canadian Association for Food Studies (CAFS) promotes critical, interdisciplinary scholarship in the broad area of food systems: food policy, production, distribution and consumption.
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