The cost of food in this province is skyrocketing, and in an attempt to help curb this rise and make food more affordable for residents, Food First NL has launched a community food security fund to help improve access to food for people in three remote regions.
The fund has more than $20,000 available for community groups in the Coast of Bays, the Northern Peninsula and the South Coast of Labrador who are looking to improve food security in their region.
“Through our projects like SCOFF and Our Food NL, we have seen the success that grows from seeding community-led food-security initiatives,” Kristie Jameson, executive director of Food First NL, stated Tuesday in a news release.
“Through the provision of funds and support, we have watched rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities take control of their food-security needs, by establishing programs as varied as community freezers, so hunters and fishers can share their catch with all residents of a community, to bulk-ordering programs that let residents access more vegetables and unprocessed meats, at more affordable prices.”
Food security exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate food to maintain an active and healthy life.
There are several ways to improve food security, and those include increasing access to healthy food, sharing food skills and knowledge, building awareness about food-security problems, creating a stronger food system and getting all this information out to the public, Jameson stated.
Groups can apply for one of two streams of funding for 2019: a seed grant of up to $250 for smaller-scale, short-term activities, or a root grant of up to $2,000 for larger-scale, long-term activities.
In addition to the application, root grant applicants must submit a draft budget and a letter of support from a partner organization.
The funds will be distributed to successful applicants in July and must be spent by Dec. 31.
More information about food security is available online at www.foodfirstnl.ca.
Application forms can be found at www.foodfirstnl.ca/fund. The deadline to apply is June 17.
How to help
The following are food-security activities that could be applied for:
• Community events (host a workshop, film screening, edible hike and boil-up).
• Regional gatherings (host a conversation and plan activities or strategies).
• Start or improve a food program (community garden, bulk-buying club).
• Professional development (educational training and tools for staff/volunteers).
• Educational resource development and distribution (kits, booklets).
• Equipment and supplies (to support cooking, gardening, bottling, fishing and/or hunting activities in programs).
• Public or stakeholder engagement (a campaign, assessment, promotion).