Food Community Solutions

Sharing Resilient Food Stories Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast

The goal of the project

Our goal is to build a database of projects and initiatives that strengthen food resilience in communities across Indigenous Territories/Canada. We want to highlight the creativity and innovation that is taking place at the community level. We asked communities across the country to share their experiences and knowledge with developing and implementing initiatives that aim to reduce food insecurity and build food resilience in their communities.

Food insecurity does not occur in isolation. Increasing food security and building food resilience requires multiple and diverse solutions that take into consideration the historical and current political, social, cultural, environmental, and geographical context of each community. Stories below capture a broad range of approaches to reducing food insecurity and strengthening food resilience.

About the stories

The stories capture a wide range of initiatives coast-to-coast-to-coast. These stories capture the successes, challenges and lessons learned in community projects and initiatives that have built and strengthened food resilience. These stories will allow others to gain practical knowledge and information about what to expect if they are interested in doing something similar. 

Most stories were written by communities themselves. Several stories had the help of students. All stories include information that will help inspire as well as provide practical information to others who may be interested in starting similar initiatives in their communities. These stories are examples of what is possible at the community level and demonstrate that community initiatives have the potential to create shifts in the food system and food governance. 

About the food system and food security

Insufficient income and poverty are overwhelmingly a key root cause of household food insecurity, which is often shaped by structural forms of oppression, notably racism and colonialism, that disproportionately disenfranchise Indigenous and racialized communities. Addressing the underlying causes of food security therefore requires focused efforts to dismantle structural forms of oppression and address poverty and inequality. Policies such as affordable housing, transit, and childcare as well as a minimum income floor under which no one falls are some examples of policies that can address the underlying causes of food insecurity. 

Although many issues in the food system require significant policy shifts, the work of communities remains vital. Food community organizations: 

  • hold knowledge about their communities that can aid in the development of suitable policies
  • can help implement policies that will have positive impacts in their communities
  • can create high levels of engagement among diverse groups 
  • are innovative and develop unique and replicable solutions
  • can curate resources and distribute relevant information to their community members
  • can build alliance to help develop a cohesive voice on an important issue
  • can develop partnerships that can better distribute resources and minimize overlap of programming 
  • have leaders who truly understand the members and how various decisions impact members
  • can organize and demand greater accountability on behalf of decision makers. 


Although the stories capture a wide range of initiatives and can be difficult to categorize, we developed some themes to help navigate the stories. Each theme is a vital piece of the food system, but only together constitute a food systems approach. We hope that the stories will help encourage partnerships, collaboration and co-creation. It is by working together, across communities coast-to-coast-to-coast, that we can develop strategies to strengthen the food system as a whole.

Alleviating immediate hunger — Sharing food

While emergency food services and charity food provisioning are not long-term solutions to address food insecurity, they are important to ensure that those currently experiencing food insecurity have dignified access to nutritious, safe, and culturally-relevant food.

Community development

A focus on building community capacity, cooperation and collaboration as a road to meaningful community organizing and decision-making, which are foundational skills to deeper democracy. Community-focused approaches to addressing food insecurity. Initiatives that strengthen relationships and trust between and within individuals, organizations and communities are supportive avenues toward addressing food insecurity and food justice.

Community-based agriculture/fisheries/harvesting

Providing opportunities for people to grow, fish or harvest their own food in urban spaces can provide city dwellers with access to fresh and more nutritious food. It can give an opportunity for people to grow culturally-relevant foods through community gardens, fishing, or harvesting wild foods. This can reduce food costs and provide business opportunities. Urban agriculture can also contribute to the reduction of climate change by reducing food transportation, creating biodiversity and providing more green spaces for pollinators.

Community-managed market spaces

Conventional markets can put certain individuals in the food system at a disadvantage. Creating alternative and diverses market spaces can create opportunities for businesses, jobs, trade and income. Alternative market spaces, both for profit and non-profit initiatives, can allow those who are food insecure to operate within the market economy, but in a way that is more dignified than accesign food via food hampers.

Ecological stewardship in the food system

Ensuring the capacity of future generations to sustain themselves requires improving the ability of the food system to steward the land, air and water. Practices like agroecological farming, closed loop nutrient cycling and other forms of regenerative resource management are important ways forward. Ecological stewardship is not limited to the reproduction level and can occur at various stages of the supply chain.
Examples: Agroecological farming initiatives, Food waste and nutrient cycling programs

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion The current food system does not allow everyone to equally participate and benefit from the food system An equitable, just and inclusive food system requires the food system to be based on democratic principles and include a wide diversity of voices, with special attention paid to including diversity deserving communities, including those living with a low income, Indigneous, Black, other people of colour, people with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ and others. This will require a significant but, much needed, redistribution of power.
Examples: BIPOC Peterborough food Initiative

Food literacy

Food literacy involves having the skills, knowledge and confidence related to daily preparation of food. Food literacy goes beyond an understanding of nutrients or basic cooking skills. It includes understanding the impact our food choices have on our health, the environment and broader community. Having the knowledge, skills and confidence around food, can help us improve our relationship with food and can help us navigate the complex and nuanced food spaces.
Examples: educational workshops, youth gardening programs, seed education

Food policy/Governance

Food policy can help address many of the underlying causes of food insecurity. Policy at all levels, including local, provincial/territorial and federal, can influence numerous aspects of the food system and food security. Food policy and governance is not limited to government. Actors in the private sector and non-profit sector develop meaningful governance that can contribute to food resilience. Food Food policy can influence everything from how food is grown to what we do with food waste.
Examples: food policy groups, internal governance structures

Strengthening regional food supply chains

Our reliance on highly globalized and increasingly concentrated food supply chains has resulted in a number of extractive practices with significant social, environmental and economic costs. These include, but are not limited to the erosion of rural economies, increased local vulnerability to distant disruptions, environmental degradation from food production, etc. Strengthening regional food systems and supply chains is an important avenue to addressing these challenges, while empowering communities to shape the food systems that support their wellbeing.


We encourage you to explore our stories freely. Stories will be updated on a regular basis. We will update you about new stories via the FCN-RCN newsletter. If you are not a member, please sign up here to receive our newsletter. 

What do you think about the stories? If you have stories to share or would like to provide feedback, please email



Thank you to the full team at Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security for their ongoing strategic and financial support.

Feed Opportunity logo

Thank you to the full team at MakeWay. FCN-RCN is a project on MakeWay’s Shared Platform, which provides operational support, governance, and charitable expertise.

MakeWay Foundation logo

All food stories categories

All food stories

English (Canada)