BC Food Systems Network plans its annual gathering

North Thompson Valley Food Coalition provides a variety of food security services

Every year the BC Food Systems Network brings its members together to celebrate the work that is being done in the BC food movement.

The 2012 Gathering will take place July 5-8, on Gambier Island and the Network is grateful to the Coast Salish people for allowing its members to be together on their traditional territory.

This annual gathering is the premier food security event in the province and gives participants the opportunity to learn about current initiatives, to build or strengthen alliances, and to collectively advance their understanding of food policy issues. The Gathering is held in a different community each year.

This theme of this year’s Gathering is Reclaiming the Food System: Policy and Practice. It is through a marriage of food policy and practice that members of the Network will develop policy recommendations for government at all levels.

Workshops and discussion will be a part of the three-day event, but the weekend is also a family-friendly celebration with activities such as story-telling, nature walks, visits to local growers, skills demonstrations, dancing, swimming, tai chi and (perhaps most importantly) delicious food.

The BC Food Systems Network is the only provincial grassroots food security network. The Network promotes community food sovereignty and is committed to both inter-cultural and multi-cultural exchange. Members includes a broad range of players from around the province involved in all aspects of the food system, including indigenous peoples, youth, policy professionals, farmers, food activists, urban gardeners, hunters, gatherers and academics.

More information about the BC Food Systems Network and the 2012 Annual Gathering can be found at www.fooddemocracy.org.

– BC Food Systems Network

Editor’s Note: Clearwater resident Cheryl Thomas is a member of the Network’s board, representing the North Thompson Valley Food Coalition. According to information on the Yellowhead Community Services Society’s website, the coalition’s activities include gleaning (collecting surplus fruits and vegetables and distributing them in the community), a community kitchen at the YCS office in Clearwater, community gardens in Avola, Clearwater and Barriere, a farmers’ market project, cooperation with the Kamloops Food Share program, and development of a regional food policy.