Since January 2019, the Kamloops Food Policy Council has been working with several representatives from various governments, Indigenous communities, and community organizations to bring food plans/policies to life. This project, funded through the Real Estate Foundation, has a steering committee and two working groups. The working group focused on expanding food processing in Kamloops and area is celebrating an early success!

The Ministry of Agriculture just published a news release, “Revitalizing B.C. communities with regional food hubs,” announcing that the Kamloops Food Policy Council is one of six groups that will be developing feasibility studies and business plans to determine their potential and capacity to offer a food processing centre for their region. We are thrilled!

A full roll-out of project details, research needs, and job postings will be happening over the next two days. In the meantime, join us in celebrating this pivotal announcement thanks to the momentum of the Food Hub Working Group and our project partners, Kamloops Innovation and Tapestry Evaluation!!

We would like to introduce Mariana Guerra, who will be taking on the role of Gleaning Abundance Program Coordinator. Mariana hails from Mexico, and has a wealth of experience working with volunteers on various projects in Canada, Mexico, Peru, and China. She is a long-time advocate of social justice and keen to get behind the cause of food security.

Mariana  has been a GAP volunteer herself for several years and is eager to contribute her organizational and leadership skills to a program she loves! She is also passionate about growing food, and interested in learning more about growing organically and using permaculture principles in her garden.

 


Network Meeting Summary

July 3, 2019

Secwepemc Word of the Month (review)

Weyt-k  (why-t-k).  _______ ren skwest = Hello. My name is _______ .

Board Update
– We’re looking forward to the AGM in August! Please join us — help us welcome the Board members who will take us through the next year, share in our legendary potluck, and enjoy some visiting.

Staff Update
– Welcome to Mariana, our new Gleaning Abundance Coordinator! She has jumped into learning the process with the onset of cherry season and we’re loving her enthusiasm for helping to capture Kamloops’ abundance.
– GAP has been busy, picking more than 1,100 pounds of cherries so far. Sadly, there will be no apricots or early plums this season, so there will be a rare break between the varieties of fruit.
– Catharine is completing her 4th year social work practicum placement with KFPC and the Boys and Girls Club. She has been working with My Place and McDonald Park Public Produce. We’re so fortunate to have her thoughtful, creative energy with us over the summer.
– The Real Estate Foundation food policy implementation project is excited to have submitted a funding application on Tuesday! If successful, the funding will go towards a combined feasibility study and pilot project to start a Food Innovation and Processing Hub. Six local food businesses would be selected to participate in business planning (through an Entrepreneur in Residence, aka business mentor) and connecting with available commercial kitchen space through a full-time food hub coordinator that would be hired for this project. In addition, a customer needs survey and the validity of the pilot will be assessed through the feasibility side of the project (so that we can launch into the next phase of this). Wish us luck!

Community Spotlight

Organic Waste Collection – Addie de Candole
Organic waste is not appropriate for the landfill, however 43% of what is going into it is compostable (this includes food scraps and lumber). This increases greenhouse gas impacts because it is not being handled appropriately. It’s time to let City Council know that we don’t want organic waste in the landfill. You can do so by signing this petition and writing a letter of support.

Climate Change Research – Hanna Martens
Hanna shared some of her research findings from a course she took in her 4th year of Geography studies at TRU. Her research question was, “How do we feed ourselves in the face of climate change?” As she reviewed the literature, the following was identified as what we can expect based on the rate of warming that is being recorded:

  • longer growing season with more extreme weather (e.g., more rain and less snow pack will mean an extended fire season with worse fires), pests and disease
  • increased risk of drought and lack of precipitation
  • warmer winters means weaker pest control and possible damage to perennials
  • increased food insecurity
  • livestock will suffer because there will be less feed and water with increased disease

Potential Solutions
– Equity needs to be top of mind because poorer populations will be impacted more severely, particularly Indigenous communities.
– Innovation and change will be needed in agricultural practices (e.g., different types of food grown; shifting when seeding and irrigating; new technology; increasing urban agriculture).
– Food hubs and incubator farms were named in a report, which is interesting because the REF policy implementation project has a working group for each of these.

Hanna graciously shared a Climate Change Agriculture Summary and Climate Change Powerpoint slides related to her presentation. There is also a full (23 page) document from Hanna that you can request from michelle@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com and she can forward it to you.

Announcements
– Bren’s farmstand will be opening on the weekend of July 20 & 21. It will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM. 4195 Westsyde Road.

– Love Hard Kamloops described their efforts to address hunger in Kamloops at street level. Two times a year, they provide a free meal for anyone who is food insecure. They also carry out a weekly outreach program, in which they drive around Kamloops in two vehicles, offering 60 – 70 sandwiches per week, cookies, fresh fruit, hot meals, coffee, tea, whatever they can prepare/provide based on what is donated. They need volunteers and can be contacted through their Facebook page.

The Big E is 48 pages of pure content, no ads. To keep it thriving, it needs participation to help it succeed. If you are a photographer, poet, writer, storyteller, have an event you want to promote, get in contact with them. thebigeditionkamloops@gmail.com or facebook or 250-879-0465.

– On Friday and Saturday nights, the Kamloops Film Society is screening movies at the Paramount. They need two volunteers per show to help keep independent film in Kamloops.

– Elaine Sedgman has just released a book, A Bee Named BOB, about Blue Orchard Bees (BOB).  Congratulations, Elaine!

– Food Skills for Families Training (August 20 – 23). This is free training (a train-the-trainer program) and meals are provided during training, however there are criteria to be eligible. For full details, click here: Food Skills Facilitator Training Invitation_2019.

Upcoming Events – Save the Dates & Get Tix!
Gardengate Seasonal Veg Sales – starts on July 15
Runs Monday to Friday, 11:30 AM to 1 PM
915 Southill


Farm 2 Chef Grazing Event – July 21, 5 – 8 PM
@Thistle Farm

KFPC AGM – August 7, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
If you are interested in learning more about what it means to join the Board of Directors, you can read over the expectations and terms of reference on the KFPC website.

Next Meeting is KFPC’s AGM: August 7, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30
@ Mount Paul Community Food Centre
A brief business meeting and election; legendary potluck; with time to visit in the garden (weather permitting)
Chair: Carole Hebden
Set Up: Deb A.
Clean Up: Matt


Network Meeting Summary

June 5, 2019

Secwepemc Word of the Month
skwlúlecw (sku-loo-low)= mid-summer

Board Update
– Several grant applications have been submitted by the leadership team, which we are excited about.
– Carole visited the new Garden Collective and is impressed with what is happening in the McDonald Park site. It has been given a new life with the attention of volunteers and guidance from Hamish.
– Looking forward to the AGM in August. Interested board members can find information on our website related to terms of reference and expressions of interest (scroll down past the Board members for the details).

Staff Update
– Catharine, a Social Work practicum student, has joined KFPC for the summer. Welcome!
– Green living expo was attended by Bonnie and Sandra to promote seed cleaning and the seed library.
– Farm to School: The spring celebration was held at the Food Centre on May 29th. There were over 100 kids and adults, with 9 community partners that had stations for the kids to engage in. Bonnie also attended the National Farm to School conference in Victoria and made lots of great connections and learned about excellent programs.
– PopCycle, the KFPC social enterprise, was launched at Brewloops. We are making fruitpops from fresh, local gleaned fruit, and 100% of the proceeds go to supporting community food action in Kamloops. We sold nearly 250 fruitpops at Brewloops!
– The KFPC is moving forward with the policy implementation project. In particular, there are two working groups: food hub and agricultural training initiatives. The food hub working group is gaining a lot of energy and there seems to be good potential there.

Community Spotlight

 

Insights were shared from the feedback received following Nourish. Small groups were also invited to answer questions that will be incorporated into the final evaluation report. To see the presentation slides, click on this link: Nourish Powerpoint Slides – June 5

 


Announcements
Interior Community Services hosted their grand opening on June 4th. Nick Saul came from Community Food Centres Canada, along with several local elected officials and community members. The food was great and the activities were engaging. Congratulations ICS!!!
– There is a hiking group Lawrence is leading on Sundays. If you are interested in coming to it, get in touch with him at flylawrence@shaw.ca

Upcoming Events – Save the Dates & Get Tix!
Farm 2 Chef Grazing Event – July 21, 5 – 8 PM
Thistle Farm
Early Bird prices ($50 per ticket) until June 30

KFPC AGM – August 7, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
If you are interested in learning more about what it means to join the Board of Directors, you can read over the expectations and terms of reference on the KFPC website. There is also information about how to submit your expression of interest by 4 PM on June 18.

Next Network Meeting: July 3, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30
An open session to share events and announcements
Chair: Emily P.
Set Up: Deb A., Bill
Clean Up: Mike

Call it providence, karma, serendipity, or what you will, but sometimes just what you need shows up just when you need it . . .

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has a couple of projects on the go at the Public Produce garden and  the Community Garden in McDonald Park. We had an RBC “Day of Service” scheduled at the park, and I was on the lookout for some plants so the team could fill some empty spaces in the Public Produce beds. While I was at the park the day before thinking about where I should go to find some good, inexpensive veggie plants, a guy drives up in a van and shouts out the window, “Hey, do you want some tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants?” “Seriously?”, I replied?

He opens up the back of his van, and there are several flats of beautiful, healthy-looking, vegetable transplants. Neto, and his daughter, Giovanna, help me carry them over to a shady spot where they can sit until the next day. “You made my day”, he says. “I didn’t know what I was gonna do with all these plants and I couldn’t bear to just throw them out”. Then they drove off, smiling and waving.

I made HIS day? I was just left standing there in amazement at what just happened. There were enough plants to fill the spaces in the beds as well as some extras to pass on to our friend Barb Lundstrom who grows a garden for the SHOP kitchen at ASK Wellness.

The RBC team showed up the next day as planned, and as well as planting all those veggies, they prepared and planted two “Three Sisters” beds with corn, beans, and squash, and cleaned up and weeded a couple of vacant Community Garden plots. All this in the 30 degree plus heat of the afternoon! On top of all that, they donated $1000 to the KFPC!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank-you so much RBC for an amazing program and an amazing team! You have made a real difference – none of that work would have gotten done without your efforts!

And thank-you Neto, for your kind gesture and your community spirit!

Network Meeting Summary
May 1, 2019
~ Much gratitude to Addie de Candole for the beautiful photos ~

Celebrating Laura
What a crowded hall it was on this special evening, a true testament to how many people Laura Kalina has impacted over her 30+ year career with Interior Health. Glenn Hilke kept the energy light and speeches were shared from Sheila Nelson (who helped found the Kamloops Food Policy Council with Laura), Tatjana Bates (an Interior Health Dietician who shared memories and also graced Laura with a whimsical handcrafted garden vest — see photo at the top of the post), Carole Hebden (KFPC President shared a note from Paula and Mendel Rubinson who also helped to form KFPC), and a message from Kendra Besanger who shared her gratitude all the way from Montreal.

The potluck was epic, including intricately decorated ‘pollinator’ cupcakes from Shirley Culver. Cheryl and Sheryl (who mentioned that Laura appreciates it when colleagues share the same name; it sure keeps things simple!) shared a hilarious slide show spanning topics such as: Laura, ‘The Promoter – Alert the Media!”, Learning About Food!, She is now ready to teach! and a Typical Work Day (which involved a whole lot of mountain biking and nordic skiing 😉 — looked incredible).

When the floor was opened up for Open Mic, many people spoke to how Laura inspired them to get involved in food security, focus their graduate studies on various aspects of the food system, and move to the city because of how many food-related initiatives there are here (most of which were started through Laura’s efforts). Without a doubt, Laura has accomplished so much in her career. Throughout, however, she held family as being of utmost importance.

 

 

Left: Laura receiving Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws by Ron and Marianne Ignace.

 

Laura’s daughter and husband spoke to the amazing balance Laura was able to hold between an abundant career and being a very present and loving mother (Laura’s son also called in to offer congratulations).  What was palpable in the room was the deep appreciation to Laura for welcoming so many to the community through food (action), helping people to feel at home here, being a person so rich in gratitude (and encouragement), and for generously sharing her bountiful gift of knowledge.

City staff offered thanks to Laura on many levels; personally, on behalf of the City of Kamloops, and the broader community. Rob Wright (Gardengate) and Glenn Hilke spoke to how Laura was a catalyst and a connector to bring a food-based social justice to Kamloops, to bring to the forefront the need to alleviate poverty and household food insecurity in our community.

Anyone who meets Laura is aware of her intensity, something which comes from the heart. Through this, as someone so aptly described during the celebration, Laura has helped “make Kamloops shine…for everyone.”

Although Laura has officially retired from Interior Health, she continues to work part-time with Qwemtsin Health and will be Kamloops Food Policy Council’s Honorary Director and Founding Member….forever. We love you, Laura!

Announcements
We Would Love Your Input!
You may have been at one of the three network meetings where discussions have been held about Kamloops Food Policy Council’s vision and new value statements. Here is the latest revision and we’d love to hear your feedback about them. You can click on the word ‘revision’ above and you will be taken to a working document. You can add a comment by highlighting the word or section of interest, then click on the speech bubble that shows up on the right to add a comment.

You can also download the Vision Statements for Kamloops Food System and email comments to lindsayellenharris@gmail.com

BC Food Costing Report Evaluation
Interior Health is collaborating with the BC Centre for Disease Control and to evaluate the BC Food Costing Report 2017 and Dissemination project. Please use the survey link:  https://ext-qiqa.bcchr.ca/redcap/plugins/surveys/?s=AHJP9HH33N to provide feedback on the Report, Infographic and key messages. The anonymous survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Deadline for your response is May 12th!

The purpose of the Food Costing in BC 2017 report is to provide data to assess food affordability – the amount of income required for individuals and families to eat a nutritionally adequate diet. This report is undertaken every two years, and this year we also released an infographic to help promote the key messages.

Upcoming Events – Save the Dates!
Farm 2 Chef Grazing Event – July 21, 5 – 8 PM
Thistle Farm
Early Bird prices ($50 per ticket) until June 30

KFPC AGM – August 7, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
If you are interested in learning more about what it means to join the Board of Directors, you can read over the expectations and terms of reference on the KFPC website. There is also information about how to submit your expression of interest by 4 PM on June 18.

Next Network Meeting: June 5, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30
A report back from Nourish: A dialogue on the root causes of household food insecurity

** Would you like to help out at our June Network meeting? If so, email info@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com. We need someone to chair and two sets of two people to help with set up and clean up. **
Chair:
Set Up:
Clean Up:

Network Meeting Summary
April 3, 2019

Secwepemc Word of the Month: sulénsem (sul-en-sum) = Flower

Table Introductions:

If you were asked to rate Kamloops’ food system, what evidence would you use to do that? In other words, what activities, policies, feelings, characteristics would you use to describe the food system in and around Kamloops?

KFPC Board Update
KFPC hosted a very successful Nourish Forum on March 29. The Board extends a big thank you to Bonnie Klohn for organizing and collaborating with such a diverse group on such an important topic.

PopCycle is ramping up. KFPC member, Sonya Rokosh, conducted a fun and informative field report for CBC about our social enterprise project that transforms gleaned fruit into tasty fruitpops! Listen to it here.

KFPC Staff Update
Nourish was a full house and the broad support to help make it happen is appreciated. The June network meeting will be a report back about Nourish.

March was packed with outreach activities. Bonnie and Sandra presented on how to start a food policy council at the Nicola Valley Food Connection Event in Merritt — interestingly, the room was full of the perfect group of people to form a food policy council! KFPC had a table at Green Drinks  prior to the screening of David Suzuki’s film Beyond Climate. This event raised almost $800 for KFPC! The Kamloops Film Festival features community groups alongside many of the films and KFPC attended with the first-ever film shot in Haida, Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife).

KFPC will be at Green Living Expo on May 11, featuring the seed library and demonstrating how to use the winnower and thresher.

Garden Collective is in full swing at McDonald Park, using part of the Public Produce space with funding from United Way. The first workshop and work bee took place on March 31. The plots are looking fantastic and are thriving on this influx of new energy and attention.

Michelle attended a forum hosted by the North Okanagan Land to Table Network. Hosting an annual forum, this one focused on the environment — looking at how sustainable ways of growing food can be encouraged, how to manage waste more effectively, and looking at impacts and resilience to climate change.

Harriet Friedmann, a long-time member of the Toronto Food Policy Council and professor emeritus, visited Kamloops in mid-March. Over several gatherings with Board and staff, Harriet shared some of her learnings from Toronto (their food policy council is a committee of City Council, therefore is funded through the city) and expressed both fascination and enthusiasm about what the Kamloops Food Policy Council is involved in. In particular, she was excited to hear about our social enterprise project, PopCycle, and how various community partners are coming together to bring policies and plans to life.

Community Spotlight ~ Deep Dive Into Our Ideal Food System with Robyn McLean and Lindsay Harris
Last year, the Board updated the strategic plan, presented this at the AGM in August 2018, and published the new vision and value statements on KFPC’s new website. It was acknowledged that something was missing — there was a need for some wider engagement and collaboration with KFPC members and network to flesh out the value systems. This will help to develop a tool to assess where the Kamloops food system is as a whole.

At the November and December network meetings, members were asked to consider what an ideal food system looks like. This helped to refine KFPC’s vision and value statements. These revised vision and value statements were discussed and rated, by members at the April network meeting, on a scale from seed (little to no development, however lots of potential) to fruit (area is very strong and gaps are well managed). Some of the statements were quite complex and harder to delve into (such as a resilient food system: healthy land and water), while others were easier to find evidence to describe where the food system sits now (such as our network: celebrating people as gifts and the cultivation of connections).

Folks were into this conversation and it was a challenge to bring them to a close to get ready for the next presentation. This level of engagement and interest around our ideal food system bodes well for what is to come. The information from this discussion will be interwoven into the existing statements and a tool to help with decision making will be developed.

Examining Local Food Procurement, Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Environmental Changes in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories with Paulina Ross

Paulina is currently in the Masters of Environmental Science program at TRU under the supervision of Dr. Courtney Mason. Paulina’s research interests include environmental and sustainable policies, as a means to encourage, regulate and respond to environmental issues as they affect Northern Canadians. Paulina was born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, a sub-arctic community with high costs of living and geographical remoteness. She has witnessed first-hand the implications of climate change and the need to carefully manage the delicate and volatile Northern landscapes, cultures and ecosystems.

She spoke about how Fort Providence, a small sub-arctic community, is working towards more resilience in their food system by focusing more on land based food access rather than market foods, which tend to be expensive, low in nutrition, and low quality. One of the key outcomes of Paulina’s research was to highlight the need to include local voices in planning because there is a longstanding experience of ideas/plans being brought in from the South and they tend not to work because they are not a good fit for the community. Paulina indicated a need to focus on land based foods such as whitefish and what the harvesters gather.

Paulina spoke to the many barriers to food security in sub-arctic communities, including:
* economic,
* contextual (gardening is not a traditional way of raising food and has ties to residential schools, traumatic experiences and memories),
* infrastructure (building a greenhouse without a way to heat it sustainably), and
* technical (the government drops off seeds every year, however community members don’t have the knowledge or skills to plant, tend and harvest them).

We just barely scratched the surface of what Paulina learned through her research. Thanks to Paulina for staying afterwards to speak with several people who wanted to discuss this further with her (especially after a day of completing and submitting her master’s thesis — congratulations are also in order)! Although she is headed to Spain to present her research before moving back to Yellowknife, she will be in keeping in touch through our newsletters. If you had more questions or wanted to discuss something further with Paulina, her email address is paulinaross10@gmail.com.

Upcoming Event

Who’s Who
City of Kamloops
Free Agent
Gardengate
Kamloops Food Policy Council
Kamloops Naturalist Club
Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market
Lived Experience Committee
Mount Paul Community Food Centre
My Place
Secwepemc Child and Family Services Agency
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Voice of Homefree
TRU
UBCO

Next Network Meeting: May 1, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30
*Laura Kalina’s Retirement Celebration*
Co-Chairs: Simone Jennings and Glenn Hilke
Set Up:
Clean Up: Sandra

Rural Indigenous communities across northern Canada are experiencing high rates of food insecurity as a result of interconnected socio-cultural, economic and environmental challenges.  This research explores local food procurement activities in the community of Fort Providence, Northwest Territories (NT).  The objective of this research was to consult with key community members to understand the detrimental effects of climate change on land-based food procurement; but also to understand the complex socio-cultural, economic and environmental challenges related to food security.

Join us and Paulina Ross as she shares her experiences through this research. She was born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, a sub-arctic community with high costs of living and geographical remoteness. She has witnessed first-hand the implications of climate change and the need to carefully manage the delicate and volatile Northern landscapes, cultures and ecosystems. She is currently in the Masters of Environmental Science program at TRU under the supervision of Dr. Courtney Mason. Paulina’s research interests include environmental and sustainable policies, as a means to encourage, regulate and respond to environmental issues as they affect Northern Canadians.

Also at April’s Network meeting will be an overview of the information that was gathered over two network meetings in the fall. Find out how KFPC’s vision and value statements have been refined to help build a decision-making framework. Members will be asked to rate where the Kamloops food system or the KFPC Network seems to be for each of these value statements.

Wednesday, April 3
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Mount Paul Community Food Centre
*Please bring a dish to share*

Chair: Robyn McLean
Set Up: Libby, one more helper would be much appreciated!
Clean Up: Libby, one more helper would be fantastic!

Perhaps you’d like to have a garden and grow your own food, BUT . . . you don’t have access to a suitable plot of land you don’t have tools you don’t have enough knowledge to do it yourself you want to do it in a community of others who share your values Our Garden […]