Food security -
growing and supporting a resilient community
Food security means that ALL members of our community have access to enough nutritious, safe, ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate food at all times.
Local food production enriches our local economy by helping our neighbours support themselves and keeping the money circulating here. A dollar spent on local food generates twice as much income in our economy as a dollar spent on food that's trucked, ferried or flown in.
Local food production also promotes food security. Our food supply is safer when more of it is grown locally. It's less vulnerable to the rising cost of oil, extreme weather, or crop failures in other parts of the world. North Cowichan has leased for a nominal fee, land to Cowichan Green Community, where they have set up and operating seed farm. CGC has recently started a new program, getting foods that would otherwise go to the wastestream into the hands of local people who need it through their refresh store. They also make meals for over 100 vulnerable people daily. And Council through its Climate Action and Energy Plan reserve fund approved funding DCC’s and related cost so that the $800,000.00 the province granted CGC for an agriculture hub would be sure that hub would be supported. CVRD through its Ec Dev department partnered with Young Agrarians and the Province on a land matching pilot, designed to match emerging farmers with landowners who are unable to farm their land, but would like to see it in production.
I encourage people to buy local when they can, and try their hand at growing some of their own. There are several groups that are assisting people in home growing, such as Food First Chemainus.
Explore making municipally-owned ALR land available on affordable long-term leases to people who want to produce food.
Work for regulations that allow people to process what they grow here, creating value-added products. The food Hub on Beverly Street goes a long way towards that.
Encouraging homeowner's efforts to grow some of their own food.
Consider land for community gardens, so that people without land can have a hand in growing.
Support fair water policies for agricultural use.