Food Security and Health Action Plan
In the summer of 2021, we’ll use the insights from our food environment assessment to develop a Food Security and Health Action Plan in collaboration with local agencies and community groups. This plan will include an intervention strategy for developing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based programs, policies and cross-sector solutions. These will be designed to improve the Guelph-Wellington food environment for everybody in the community and create:
- Effective investments in community-based programs and policies,
- Greater physical and economic access to nutritious foods,
- Well-informed and empowered residents, and
- Ultimately, improved population health outcomes.
Our vision is to create an environment where Guelph-Wellington residents can access nutritious food anywhere, will feel motivated to choose more nutritious foods and will know what to do with them. Ultimately, we want to create changes that are sustainable, far-reaching and replicable.
Drawing on the findings from our Food Environment Assessment—as well as expert consultation, literature reviews and other sources—we’ll develop and launch our Action Plan in the summer of 2021. This includes designing evidence-based interventions, an implementation plan and an evaluation plan.
We’ll track our progress as interventions are implemented, updating the public dashboard on an ongoing basis. At the end of initiative, we’ll re-assess baseline indicators where appropriate to evaluate the impact of our interventions, comparing them against the baseline data we collected. Time permitting, we would like to create a sustainability plan for long-term community priorities and impact.
Emergency Food Relief—immediate food distribution
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new food security issues in our communities and exacerbated ongoing problems, as social distancing and the economic slowdown have made many vulnerable populations even less secure. In addition to the longer-term activities described above, we’ve pivoted our initiatives to help grow and rapidly scale food security initiatives to address immediate needs. These include:
The SEED’s Emergency Food Home Delivery program
The SEED—a community food project of the Guelph Community Health Centre and a partner in Our Food Future—has shifted its focus to emergency food relief for those most impacted by COVID-19. Working in collaboration with the University of Guelph, the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph, local cooks and drivers, they are creating and delivering 500 to 800 nutritious meals daily, as well as fresh and shelf-stable products.
Harve$t Impact community donation platform
To support The SEED’s Emergency Food Home Delivery program, 10C launched a new community donation platform in April 2020— the first demonstration project of the Harve$t Impact Fund—with a goal of raising more than $100,000. Our Food Future committed to match up to $90,000 and provide communications support to promote the initiative. These funds support several local emergency food agencies and help quickly scale up emergency food provisioning to Guelph-Wellington’s most vulnerable residents. United Way and Guelph Community Foundation COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund efforts also supported this work.
Get Growing—urban agriculture in Guelph-Wellington
The coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns about our food supply—from panicked shoppers hoarding groceries or disruptions to the global supply chain. This has led many people to consider producing more food locally by growing their own in residential or community gardens.
To support this movement, Our Food Future launched a comprehensive urban agriculture program to help residents and businesses to use circular thinking and urban agricultural practices to improve community resilience increasing production of (and access to) nutritious food in urban and/or rural settings in Guelph-Wellington. For details, see the Urban Agriculture Living Lab project.