“I want the community to come together to grow and share fruits in the summer. We can have trees at the park”- Community Consult participant
Good Food is Just the Beginning…
In partnership with Intelligent Futures, the Alex Community Food Centre conducted surveys from January 2016-May 2016 to gain a better understanding of the strengths, challenges, issues, and desires of the community. The centre will use this information to develop appropriate programming for the Greater Forest Lawn Area, and increase community access to healthy food while bringing people together to achieve whole health, by growing, cooking, and sharing healthy food.
With a mix of in-person, on-paper, and online contact, we made 648 community contacts with 92 door to door visits, 225 sounding board participants, 157 online survey takers, 14 collaborators, and 266 interviews and conversations. Each point of contact provided us with many different insights into the kind of community space the Alex CFC could be. Here is what we heard.
What our community is saying:
“My siblings beg for programs but we have no money”
“I want the community to come together to grow and share fruits in the summer. We can have trees at the park”
“Learning to and having access to growing food is a human right – what a great way to learn!”
“We want to share and be together”
Top Themes in Community Conversations:
Social isolation is one of the biggest issues people face in the community
Basic needs services are a significant gap in Greater Forest Lawn
Creating safe spaces for the community to come together will help to build a sense of belonging and address stigma and transiency
Programs on weekends and holidays for kids from low-income households is a priority.
Volunteering and opportunities for resident leadership is key to success
Programs must address barriers facing people living on low incomes such as child minding, transportation, language, mobility, social and cultural barriers
MOST COMMON ISSUES
- Cost of food
- Lack of healthy food
- Lack of physical access to food
MOST COMMON IDEAS FOR SUCCESS
- Community participation
- Access to food
Community Food Centre programming will include:
- Food access programs like community meals that celebrate different ethnicities and cultures while increasing access to healthy food in a safe positive environment. Food access programs will prioritize fresh, healthy food.
- Food skills programs like “make and take” meals, seniors cooking, kids and youth cooking
- Engagement and leadership opportunities like volunteering, social justice initiatives, and community events.
- Collaboration with other organizations in the community to coordinate programs and services.
Special Thanks to Intelligent Futures for their collaboration with the Alex CFC.