The North Shore Community Food Charter outlines a vision and principles for an integrated food system. Generated after community-wide consultation, it articulates shared community principles related to food production, distribution, access, consumption, processing and waste handling.
- Food is considered a valuable resource at every stage of the food system continuum.
- All people are able to access food in a dignified manner, that is nutritious, safe, and personally acceptable.
- The environment is valued and protected from adverse impacts of the food system.
- Food and food cultures are celebrated.
North Shore Community Food Charter’s 5 Principles for an Integrated Food System
Food Access & Equity
Health is vitally connected to the food we consume. Healthy communities are built, in part, when healthy choices are available and there is access to a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet that maximizes healthy choices and prevents disease.
Table Matters strives for everyone on the North Shore to have access to food choices that are:
- safe, whole, fresh and minimally processed;
- of high quality;
- affordable for everyone; and
- available with dignity and without barriers.
In 2013 Table Matters and Vancouver Coastal Health supported a unique community project called Scaling-up Food Rescue. This project supported the Food Charter and its guiding principle of health, access and equity. Learn more about Scaling Up Food Rescue.
The “food system” is a complex continuum – from seed to plate then back to the earth – that has a significant impact on our surroundings. Table Matters is promoting community self-reliance to reduce our local food system’s collective environmental footprint.
We strive to:
- support practices that protect or enhance natural ecosystems (land and water) through all stages of the food system; and
- minimize the harmful environmental impact of food production and consumption – including transportation, packaging and processing – by reclaiming, recycling and repurposing food to the greatest extent possible.
In 2015 Table Matters and Vancouver Coastal Health supported a unique community project called the North Shore Footprint Challenge. This project supported the Food Charter and its guiding principle of Environmental Responsibility. Learn more about the North Shore FoodPrint Challenge.
Government Leadership & Collaboration
Food security is an issue that crosses jurisdictional boundaries and cannot be addressed on its own by a single governing entity. Table Matters is helping North Shore communities collaborate with regional, provincial and national governments when advocating for local food security.
We strive to:
- inform the public about food security issues;
- support initiatives being pursued in other jurisdictions;
- advocate around food system issues regionally, provincially and nationally; and
- develop regulations and policies that include food security.
- learn more about building food policy bridges and regional food system strategies across Metro Vancouver.
Local food enterprises enhance the local economy. Every step of the food system – from food production to processing, retail, preparation, consumption, composting and repurposing – presents opportunities to strengthen the economy.
We strive to:
- support the local food sector’s growth and development;
- attract and promote innovative and viable food-centered enterprises; and
- create jobs in our community by encouraging local food enterprise.
The Edible Garden Project’s Loutet Farm illustrates the Food Charter’s 4th principle by showing us how local social enterprises in growing and selling produce to the local community provides sustainable commerce model in an urban neighbourhood. To learn more, check out Loutet Farm.
Food Culture & Education
Food brings people together. By encouraging opportunities to share food skills, traditions and knowledge, we strengthen our vibrant community.
- celebrates and supports food cultures;
- promotes the connections between food and mental, physical and spiritual health; and
- supports information sharing, education and training to build awareness, skills and capacity for food literacy.
The Edible Garden Project provides a vital community enhancing opportunities for learning sharing and growing community. Check out all the good work from the Edible Garden Project.
Our current work with the Neighbourhood Food Collaborative is also reflective of this principle.
The North Shore Shore Community Food Charter is endorsed by the following organizations:
Read more about the North Shore Food Charter draft process on our blog.