May 2013 Halton Food Council Mission To encourage and facilitate dialogue and collaboration among food related organizations, agencies, services, food producers and distributors, consumers, business and government to develop strategies for the promotion and facilitation of the vision and bring it to action. Activities • networking/education – build new partnerships and enhance networking between existing food system stakeholders in Halton • coordinate/analyze – identify and prioritize food system needs in Halton and support creation and implementation of initiatives • evaluation – establish benchmarks and targets for achievement of mission/goals • funding – lever community resources to support mission/goals • policy – identify policy changes which support goals and advocate for their implementation Halton Food Council Members • • • • • • • • • • • • • Community Development Halton – Rishia Burke Community Member/Halton Healthy Eating Network – Lynn Roblin Community Member – Moira Matsubuchi-Shaw Gordon Food Service – Bob Moulson Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee – Sandy Grant Halton Food for Thought – Gayle Cruikshank Halton Fresh Food Box – Brenda Moher Halton Region Federation of Agriculture – Nick DiGirolamo Halton Region Health Department – Mary O’Brien (advisor) Halton Region Planning Services Division – Gena Ali (advisor) Oakville Sustainable Food Partnership – Susan Curran Ontario Agri-Food Education – Jan Robertson ReFresh Foods/Food for Life – Charlotte Redekop-Young Halton Food Charter Vision The Halton Food Charter envisions a Halton where: • all residents have access to adequate, affordable, safe, nutritious and culturally acceptable food; • there is a fair and sustainable food system (e.g. local foods are available and promoted, local agricultural lands and farmers are protected and supported, urban agriculture is encouraged, and food has been produced and distributed in an environmentally acceptable way); • food is an important part of our heritage and culture. Goal • To increase awareness of food systems issues and opportunities in Halton Region and communicate with a common voice to promote action. Halton Food Charter Expected Outcomes • • • • • • • • Awareness of the community’s food needs (e.g. completed Community Food Assessment). Access to nutritious food, with a focus on locally grown fresh produce for Halton residents. Increased use of locally grown food in restaurants, schools, Regional and community facilities. Awareness of food grown and produced in Halton. Sustainable and strong local agricultural economy. Retention of valuable farm lands in Halton and increased use of such for sustainable agriculture and food production. Support for urban agriculture (e.g. community gardens, rooftop gardens). Establishment of a broad network of people interested in working together to advocate for a fair and sustainable food system. * A food system includes food production, food processing, food distribution, food access, food consumption, food education and waste management. Key Concerns • Halton population is growing, diversifying and aging • The cost of housing and food is increasing • About 4% of Halton residents are food insecure (19,200 residents or 6300 households) • Food insecurity associated with poor nutrition, poor birth outcomes, reduced learning and productivity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, mental health problems, etc. • Fruit and vegetable consumption well below recommended levels • Halton’s agricultural economy is changing Halton Food Council Progress • Key areas of concern from the April 2009 forum – Food for low income families • Quality of food, cost of food/inadequate income, lack of awareness of low income in Halton, food bank issues – Support for local agriculture • Support for local farmers, economic viability, new farmers, bylaws, preservation/sustainability of local farms and farmland, availability and promotion of local foods i.e. farmers markets, farm gate, food in schools, etc. Halton Food Council Progress • Halton Food Council formed in November 2009 • Halton Food Charter affirmed in November 2010 – – – – – Endorsed by Halton Region – Dec 14, 2011 Endorsed by City of Burlington Council – Sept 24, 2012 Endorsed by Milton Town Council – Nov 26, 2012 Endorsed by Oakville Town Council – Jan 21, 2013 Endorsed by Council for Town of Halton Hills – April 8, 2013 • Community Food Assessment completed May 2011 – Provide information of Halton community – Review food systems and farm issues in Halton – Identify programs and services regarding food and farming in Halton • Website: www.haltonfoodcouncil.ca Halton Food Council Priorities from May 2011 Forum Community Gardens • • Members include individuals with interest and experience with community gardens; Halton Food for Thought, Burlington Green, Oakville Sustainable Food Partnership Developed a work plan and applied for funding from Healthy Communities to secure a funds for a consultant to conduct research and policy development Community Food Centres/community kitchens • • • • Members include representatives from Community Development Halton, Food for Life, Fareshare Food Bank, Kerr Street Ministries, Poverty Roundtable, Hosted a food forum with Nick Saul from the STOP in March 2012 Determining a common vision for a “Halton Community Food Centre “ Serve as a clearing house for resources on food centre information/food distribution to community agencies, clients, businesses, funders and government Low income and food insecurity leads to health issues • Food insecure households are more likely to have lower intakes of fruits, vegetables and milk products and inadequate intakes of some vitamins and minerals • Canadians who are food insecure are more likely to report poor or fair health and more likely to have multiple chronic conditions Agriculture in Halton • A hundred years ago, Halton was largely rural and agricultural. • Although the average size of farms in Halton increased between 1996 and 2006 (from 151 to 157 acres), over that ten-year period the number of farms decreased 21%. • More agricultural land is being rented in Halton (52%) vs. Ontario (32%) • Farm operators are aging. In 2006, the average age of a farmer in Halton was 56.9 years; only 5% were under 35 years of age and 56% were 55 and older Food Security and Local Food Production • Agriculture has historically been an integral part of the social, economic and physical fabric of Halton Region. • Agriculture remains a vital part of the economy of Halton: in 2006 the Region ranked fifth in the province for average gross farm receipts ($1,485 per acre compared to $776 for Ontario and $998 for the GTA). Farms, Farmer’s Markets, Community Gardens • Farms that sell vegetables, fruit and other food products – over 20 including – 15 pick your own farms within Halton – 5 farms that provide tours • Farmers Markets - over 8 in Burlington, Georgetown, Oakville, Milton, Campbellville • Community gardens in over 10 neighbourhoods, including rented garden plots, that help increase availability of fresh fruit and vegetables, improve food production skills and the availability of local foods.