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

Upcoming Event

Who’s Who
City of Kamloops
Free Agent
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

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