We revel in the abundance, variety and freshness of local food available at supermarkets and farmers’ markets. With all the markets currently operating in the city, it can seem that fresh healthy food is available to everyone – a deceptive illusion. There are many ‘food deserts’ in Toronto, areas where fresh wholesome food is not available at all within reasonable walking/TTC distance.
Food is an urban issue that can and should be addressed by municipal government and we are lucky that ours does. Toronto’s Food Policy Council, the first in North American, was established as a subcommittee by the Board of Health in 1991 when Jack Layton was the Board’s chair.
“The Toronto Food Policy Council connects diverse people from the food, farming and community sector to develop innovative policies and projects that support a health-focused food system, and provides a forum for action across the food system.”
from the TFPC website
For over twenty years it has been formulating and advocating food initiatives to ensure healthy, affordable, sustainable and culturally appropriate food for everyone in the city.
Currently, the TFPC is active on many fronts, including advocating for an urban agriculture plan, the legalization of backyard hens, a regional farm and food plan, and a more diverse street and food truck culture. TFPC promotes citizen engagement with open monthly meetings and right now has an election primer on their website.
One of TFPC’s initial efforts was to help create FoodShare’s Good Food Box program to deliver healthy and affordable local food across Toronto. This video illustrates a recent further step in that campaign.
A video created by Foodshare – “Toronto’s Mobile Good Food Market” a solution to good food for all.
There is a great deal of excellent information available online about the Toronto Food Policy Council.
Read more on the TFPC website.
See a summary of their work by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
More on current TFPC projects.
A comprehensive presentation by TFPC coordinator Lauren Baker.
Wayne Roberts story on Jack Layton in NOW magazine.
– Schuster Gindin
This article is part of our issue FEEDING TORONTO.