Posts from Our Network (any groups that come to network meetings past or present).

The Kamloops COVID Meal Train was born as a solution to address food insecurity and alleviate the pressure on resources brought by the COVID 19 pandemic. It was established at the end of March, the onset of the pandemic as a volunteer-led initiative and a unique community/grassroots mobile food dissemination program. During this time, meal service agencies in Kamloops ceased operations as a result of shortages in capacity and the crucial need for volunteers to isolate at the peak of the pandemic that plagued the world. This presented a tremendous challenge as those who were most vulnerable were inhibited from accessing a fundamental human right, nutritious meals, and a place to seek unconditional support. 

The Co-coordinator of the program and previous board member of the Kamloops Food Policy Council, Glenn Hilke saw this as an opportunity to not only provide breakfast at a time when there were no meal programs available but to also expand to provide lunch to the vulnerable population. Based on his ties to the community and his work with the non-profit – Lived Experience Community, he defined the vulnerable population including not only those experiencing homelessness and those with lived experiences dwelling in alleys but those living in motels due to the inability to access housing as a result of the heavy costs & restrictions in the housing market. Seniors are also considered a part of the vulnerable population and the Kamloops COVID Meal Train has provided, with the help of volunteers and businesses, well over 30,000 meals to combat food insecurity in our community. 

Cynthia Travers, manager at the Kamloops COVID Meal Train and recently elected board member at the Kamloops Food Policy Council brought to the limelight obstacles and challenges faced by the Kamloops COVID Meal Train. As an organization and initiative created based on a model heavily dependent on donations and volunteers, the inconsistent donations and volunteers, the lack thereof to maintain 2 meals, 7 days a week schedule is even more arduous. The Salvation Army and Mustard Seed assists however, as a community we are responsible for bridging the gaps where there is lack. The COVID meal train does this by providing breakfast, lunch (& prospectively dinner) to meet this dire need in our community. 

How Can You Help?

  • The Kamloops COVID Meal Train is organizing a Barbecue and Car wash as a fundraiser 

When: Saturday, September 26, 2020 

Time: 11 AM to 3 PM 

Where: 405a Tranquille Road, Kamloops BC

The program’s success comes from the endless support and love of the community and the willingness of people and fast-food restaurants to donate time, funds, food, and skills to help those in need. The cost of each meal is estimated to be 75 cents and with more than 30,000 meals offered to the vulnerable population, it costs well over $20,000 to keep the program running. The Kamloops COVID Meal Train recognizes its passionate and highly knowledgeable  8-team drivers, who constantly absorb costs of delivering meals and community volunteers that spend well over 100s and 1000s of dollars out of pocket as a means of support. 

Moving Forward 

To make the program an initiative one that is self-sustaining, the Kamloops COVID Meal Train is involved in a monthly roundtable discussion with representatives from agencies in Canada. Grants and fundings are currently in the works. Glenn Hilke appreciates the current support of organizations, restaurants, and fast-food chains like Tim Hortons, Smorgasbord Deli, and the Kamloops Alliance Church for providing meals and a commercial kitchen. Other fast-food chains and local restaurants are also encouraged to donate a day’s worth of food per month to keep the train moving.

When the FarmFolk CityFolk mobile seed cleaner recently rolled through town, a couple of us from the KFPC were lucky enough to take part in their seed cleaning session at SSOL Gardens. The mobile seed cleaner is currently being toured around the province to promote commercial seed production and support farmers who are already producing seed for sale. This well-equipped trailer can be a game-changer for farmers thinking about growing for seed as the equipment it brings can produce commercial-grade seed in a fraction of the time it would take to clean it manually.

Seed sovereignty is an integral part of food sovereignty. In order to have a resilient local or regional food system, we need to be producing our own seed so that we are less reliant on large commercial seed companies and able to develop plant varieties adapted to changing local and regional climates.

Prepping beans for cleaning

Seed cleaning can be monotonous and labour-intensive work, but it can also be very relaxing and meditative. When you see that bucket of clean seeds – the finished product of your labor, it’s also immensely satisfying. And sharing the work with a friendly crew of helpers makes for a fun day on the farm!

The seed cleaning unit itself is a trailer that houses several interesting gadgets used in the seed-cleaning process including an air-separator, which uses suction to pull the lighter chaff away from the seeds. David Catzel, who built most of the equipment in the trailer, was on hand for our session at SSOL and was able to finely-tune the airflow for each type of seed, producing a very clean finished product.

David and Daniela screening onions

There is quite a bit of manual preparation to be done before the plant material is ready to go through the separator. This is where the teamwork comes in. The more plant material that can be removed from the seed beforehand, the more effective the final cleaning will be. The mobile seed trailer is equipped with a sizeable collection of hand screens, which make the process easier.

On the day we were there, we helped clean two varieties of beans, six of carrots, ten lettuce varieties, and two onions. Daniela from SSOL Gardens figured the session saved her a week to 10 days of work and was way more fun than doing it alone!

David also facilitated a seed saving workshop for us while he was in town, which, unfortunately, we had to restrict to seven people because of social distancing restrictions. For those of us who got to attend, it was very informative and inspiring. One important takeaway was that although seed saving can be very scientific and particular with tons to learn about plant varieties, cross-pollination, and isolation distances, it can also be very simple. Many of our common vegetables, such as tomatoes, lettuce, beans, and peas are mostly self-pollinating and can easily be saved from one year to the next. And sometimes unintended cross-pollination can result in something new and different!

Thanks to David Catzel and Steph Benoit for organizing and facilitating the event and to FarmFolk CityFolk for making it possible!

 

The Kweseltken Farmer’s & Artisan Market had its grand opening on Sunday, August 9, 2020. The celebration opened with Sage Hills Drummers and a special welcome song by Rosanne Casimir, following a welcome address from Elder Leona Thomas.

The event featured several guest speakers including Shaw Bonnough from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Dieter Dudy, the owner of Thistle Farms and a representative from the Kamloops City Council and George Casimir, the owner of Farm and Stuff and the Manager of Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations (CFDC of CIFN).

The project was created to support first nations communities and tourism in the region and will run every Sunday from 8 AM to 2 PM until the end of September 2020 at the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Powwow Grounds at 345 Powwow Trail.

It is open to all indigenous and non-indigenous vendors. For more information, click here

Author/illustrator Elaine Sedgman will be sharing her book A Bee Named BOB – the life story of a little mason bee, this Friday afternoon. You might think BOB was a fly because she is so small and hairy! This story is based on science, but is easily accessible to children from 6 years and up as well as parents, grandparents, teachers and gardeners.

Elaine is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about native bees and pollinators in general. The reading will take place from 2:00 -2:30 pm, Friday August 7th.

This Zoom presentation is open to everyone – you don’t need to be a resident of the Okanagan or even Canada! But you do need to pre-register.

https://orl.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?eventid=49224&fbclid=IwAR0pwRopdptdHMA1GJTJ-ippYSK2A-AMkOwpN0IZ4YKq0d7h5M5l8pC5PgE

 

We are happy to add Dave Zirnhelt of Snap Up Real Estate and Rate-My-Agent.com to our list of supporters. Dave is on a mission to create a long lasting, meaningful impact by giving back to worthy causes in our local community, and the Kamloops Food Policy Council is one of the organizations he reached out to!

Dave came out to the Butler Urban Farm to have a first-hand look at the work we’re doing and hear about some of our other initiatives aimed at building a more resilient local food system. We really appreciate the support of community-minded businesses like Snap Up Real Estate!

 

Kamloops Neighbourhoods and Condos

Kamloops Realtor, Mortgage, & Insurance Agent Reviews

 

 

 

The Covid 19 Pandemic has created a lot of stress and uncertainty for everyone, but has triggered a renewed interest in growing food and cultivating a regenerative food system.

The KFPC is launching a “Resiliency Gardening” Campaign to get behind this movement. It’s all about encouraging people to share and work together to grow more food locally. It’s also meant to be fun and full of healing for body and spirit in these stressful times. Some of the initiatives we’re working on are:

1) Butler Urban Farm – A community farm on Clapperton Road across from the food bank. The KFPC has hired a garden manager and applied for funding through Canada Summer Jobs to hire one or more assistants. We want to grow as much food there as we can and we’re looking for people who are interested either in helping out in exchange for a share of the produce, or taking over a small section to work on their own. Contact sandra@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com if you’re interested in either of those options.

2) Online Gardening Classes – These classes are sponsored by the Kamloops Naturalist Club’s Next Generation program and will be offered first to Butler Urban Farm volunteers. If space is available they will be open to any KFPC members as well as the general public. to find out more contact Jesse Ritcey at jesse@naturekamloops.ca .

3) Garden Sharing – The Young Agrarians have launched a free online gardensharing platform. It’s easy to use and already has one Kamloops listing. If you have garden space to share or you’re looking for garden space, check it out here.

4) Revamped GAP – Mariana Guerra is back again this year as our Gleaning Abundance Program Coordinator, and will be exploring ways to revise the GAP model to adhere to evolving social distancing requirements and at the same time, make it more neighbourhood-based and less reliant on coordinator time. To register a tree or garden, or join our gleaning crews, go to our GAP webpage.

The Kamloops community has demonstrated an amazing upswell of caring responses to ensure food security for all our residents during this time of pandemic.

Together with other organizations and community members, KFPC has compiled a list of food supports available during this time of COVID-19 social distancing. These support services have been changing frequently as the situation evolves, so we are doing our best to keep the information up to date. If you are aware of a food support that has changed or that isn’t on the list yet, please send us an email at info@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com.

So many people in our community are contributing generously to ensure everyone has access to food during this time. If you are in a position to contribute, our food supports resource also includes a section on how to help, compiling organizations’ requests for volunteers, needed items and links where financial donations are being accepted.

Thank-you to all those agencies and individuals who are rising to the challenge to see that everyone in our community has enough to eat.

 

The Kamloops Food Policy Council has initiated a number of actions to address some of the issues resulting from the current Covid 19 situation, including bringing together emergency food providers to find solutions to the challenges they are all facing trying to get food to local food-insecure populations.

One problem that has been brought to our attention is that  hospital workers are going home hungry after a long shift and having trouble accessing ready-cooked meals because of restaurant closures. Pizza Pi, a downtown Kamloops independent business, has already stepped up to the plate to help feed our marginalized and homeless populations during this pandemic with a Pay It Forward campaign. They are extending the goodwill by offering free pizza delivery to anyone who works at RIH. A $25 donation buys a large pizza with 2 toppings and a 2 litre beverage for a Kamloops RIH Front Line Worker which will be delivered to them free by Pizza Pi. It’s a way to show our appreciation for the crucial work these folks are doing to keep the rest of us safe.

If you are able to contribute to this campaign, the KFPC can provide a charitable tax receipt for your donation.

To learn more, or make a contribution, go to our CanadaHelps Meals For Hospital Workers campaign page.


March 4, 2020

Network Meeting Summary

Thank you to Emily Pletsch and Keira McPhee for
collaborating on the network meeting summary!

Our fullest house yet took in a Panel Discussion with Dawn Morrison, Joanne Taylor and Ananda Lee Tan on climate chaos mitigation, particularly relating to water. All three panelists presented on the current climate crisis and the importance of having Indigenous voices as key navigators in dealing with this crisis. The critical role water plays in Indigenous Food Sovereignty was presented, as well as the impact water has on all biodiversity and food availability. Each panelist presented on their work and importance of making substantial shifts and transformations in our current system to deal with the climate crisis.

Dawn Morrison

Dawn Morrison is the founder and curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty since 2006. Food sovereignty requires healthy territory and a diversity of species. Its paradigm moves away from the present production narrative, and resource extraction as the base of our economy, to a solidarity or sharing economy. It is clear that existing systems can’t deal with the complexity.

The working group launched the Indigenous Food and Freedom School in 2019. The school was created to build capacity , build Indigenous leadership, and address underlying issues. Other focus areas of the school include creating emancipatory learning materials, policy primers, alternative economic development, and working with natural water flow systems–not against them. Dawn spoke to the importance of protecting water, a concept expressed through yecwemenetkwe in Secwepemctsin, and the vital role water plays in Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

Water rights are a part of the land and this is complicated by multi-jurisdictional challenges, wherein various levels of government districts don’t overlap with the watersheds. When questions or issues arise, no one will take on the responsibility of addressing it. An example of this is playing out on the Neskonlith reserve where there is no Indigenous access to water for irrigation and access to the Neskonlith Lake dam is on private land. A second example discussed the Imperial Mines disaster at Mount Polley — the corporation has not been held accountable for reparation (and continues to operate with government approval).

Dawn discussed shifting the narrative and creating ethical spaces of engagement, posing the questions: How can Indigenous law interface with the changes that are needed? How can Indigenous Peoples be the voices of this change? Ethical spaces of engagement means recognizing and acting from an awareness that Indigenous peoples on the front lines of the eco-crisis/climate change (e.g., stopping pipelines, industrial agriculture, forestry where glyphosate is sprayed) are also the most vulnerable according to all of the social determinants of health.

Dawn presented a Cross Cultural Interface Framework: Decolonizing Food Systems Research and Relationships, that helps identify land/food strategies that are complementary with Indigenous Food Sovereignty (e.g., hunting, fishing, trading, gardening, small scale farming). The framework reveals strategies that show how Indigenous law and governance interface with the changes that are needed. It also reveals contradictions via wicked questions, which can open up potential for transformation when considered intentionally.

Joanne Taylor

Joanne Taylor is a post doctoral research fellow in agricultural climate change adaptation and policy at UBCO. Joanne presented her research on the impacts of colonialism in the Creston Valley in British Columbia. Joanne spoke to the land’s history of providing abundant food sources for Indigenous communities over millennia. Current development in the area has ongoing detrimental impacts on biodiversity and food procurement. Joanne spoke to the devastating environmental impacts of these developments and the ongoing expansions, which continue to subordinate Indigenous peoples and their decision making. Joanne spoke to the upcoming 2024 Columbia River Treaty discussions and the importance of having Indigenous peoples as leading decision makers because an inherent sacred responsibility for the land exists among Indigenous peoples.

Ananda Lee Tan

Ananda has been supporting global social movements for over 30 years. Ananda is a co-founder of the Climate Justice Alliance and a member of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Ananda spoke to the knowledge of those who walked before us and using this knowledge to understand how to tackle climate issues (through climate justice solutions, just transition, and a solidarity economy). Ananda spoke to the BC climate change risk assessment and presented three critiques:

  1. the assessment does not center the voices of those communities and cultures who are most impacted and therefore have experience (Ananda shared a story of two men standing on a beach watching a tsunami approach. One is a scientist who runs off in one direction and the other is a fisherman who runs in the other direction — who would you follow?),
  2. the issues addressed are limited (“carbon reductionism”) and do not recognize innate connections (nature is zero waste), such as the loss of biodiversity, culture, and title, and
  3. the assessment does not acknowledge the root drivers of this crisis, which are global mega-corporations. We need to remember that there are names and faces responsible for this climate crisis — which is where our efforts need to be focused. Our individual strategies to mitigate waste are not responsible for driving the climate crisis (this only accounts for 8% of waste, whereas corporate waste/extraction/destruction/pollution accounts for the rest).

Ananda spoke to the current “dig, burn, drive, dump” economy and the current system operating on greed rather than community. He also shared a cautionary tale about how movements can be co-opted by the agenda of industry. An example was provided where methane was being held up as an excellent alternative fuel — a campaign that was taken up by Greenpeace. This was an example of accepting money from philanthropists to focus on strategies that are devised by the oil and gas industry. When Ananda took this strategy to La Via Campesina, they were able to call it out right away.

Ananda spoke to a just transition and posed the questions: What is the economy we need to create? Where are the jobs that serve the environment? Where are the real jobs?

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 1st,  5:30-7:30
Updates from Robyn & Emily (regarding KFPC’s value statements) and Bonnie (regarding a project happening with nursing students)

Chair: Glenn Hilke
Set Up:
Clean Up:

Our decision to focus a network meeting on climate chaos and its impact on water was prompted by the release of the province’s strategic climate risk assessment:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/adaptation/risk-assessment

We want to create the time and space to explore climate action related to water, while also aligning our strategies of climate justice to the broader scope and scale of Secwepemc food sovereignty. We are grateful to have Dawn Morrison, Joanne Taylor, and Ananda Lee Tan joining us for this critical and timely discussion (and action!).

Dawn Morrison
Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Dawn is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Founder/Curator of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Since 1983, Dawn has worked and studied horticulture, ethno-botany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems in formal institutions as well as through her own personal healing and learning journey. Following the years she spent teaching Aboriginal Adult Basic Education, Dawn has been dedicating her time and energy to land based healing and learning which led her to her life’s work of realizing herself more fully as a developing spirit aligned leader in the Indigenous food sovereignty movement. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 13 years for decolonizing food systems discourse in community, regional and international networks and has become internationally recognized as a published author. Dawn’s work on the Decolonizing Research and Relationships is focused on creating a critical pathway of consciousness, that shines a light on the cross-cultural interface where Indigenous Food Sovereignty meets, social justice, climate change and food systems research, action and adaptive policy, planning and governance. Some of the projects Dawn is curating include: Wild Salmon Caravan, Indigenous Food and Freedom School, and Dismantling Structural Racism in the Food System.


Joanne Taylor
Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Agricultural Climate Change

Adaptation and Policy @ UBCO

Dr. Joanne Taylor is an environmental anthropologist and political ecologist. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Dr. Taylor’s doctoral research investigates food security and food sovereignty in the Creston Valley of British Columbia during the renegotiation of the bilateral Columbia River Treaty.  Joanne is currently a SSHRC Post Doctoral Fellow at The University of British Columbia where she is conducting research in agricultural adaptation to climate change in the Cariboo and Okanagan Regions of B.C.  She continues to explore the effects of climate change on food systems while also analysing the effects of industrial agriculture on climate change.