May Meeting Summary
Updated: Jun 2
At the April CFP meeting, a discussion sparked around strengthening neighbourhood connections and networks. To continue the conversation, we invited Sarah Kim to join us at the May meeting to discuss strengthening neighbourhoods.
Sarah Kim is a passionate advocate for systems change, racial justice and food justice. Sarah has worked as the coordinator of the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks http://vancouverfoodnetworks.com/ and currently works on contract with PHABC (Provincial Health Association of BC) on food security initiatives. She also works as a community developer at Collingwood Neighbourhood House https://www.cnh.bc.ca/ in East Vancouver on anti-racism and civic engagement initiatives using a systems change lens.
Sara shared insights on place-based community development and the history and current context of Neighbourhood Houses in the Vancouver area. She also shared the pros and cons of food system networks in relation to centralized and decentralized perspectives using the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks as an example. A centralized model may result in greater output and delivery but might not reach as many groups and focus on general need rather than meeting the unique needs of neigbourhoods or service users.
We spoke about the geography of Kamloops and the unequal distribution of services, noting that services are primarily located Downtown or on the south end of the North Shore. Multiple neighbourhoods in Kamloops have limited access to food programs, especially when community members have accessibility barriers. Please see the maps below created by Krista Macaulay showing the emergency food assets in Kamloops.
We discussed if people cannot access services due to distance, how can we get people to them? What are the community assets that can be used? What spaces are there in neighbourhoods where services could be offered? Are there parks, schools, churches? Can we bring food to these places? Are there distribution spaces that can be utilized?
Kamloops food network is robust and there is so much food to be shared and distributed in community although food deserts remain, and emergency food is only accessible in certain areas. Over the past year, food delivery services have been emphasized. As services begin to shift models again, how do we continue to reach neighbourhoods? How do we build up food accessibility in multiple neighbourhoods? How can this work be done in a way that gives people dignified access to food?
Calls to Action Discussion
Part of the work of the CFP over the past year is looking at Calls to Action. An ongoing question is how to influence groups like business owners, neighbourhood associations and other citizens.
We would like to do a city delegation to share the work we have done over the past year. We would like to present some tangible Calls to Action at this time. Some examples mentioned that got people engaged in the past were the Addictions Matters Kamloops Pledge or the Bring Your Own initiative with the City of Kamloops.
Calls to Action can be simple actions that work towards building a more connected community. Actions can be simple and impactful such as: learn about services at local non-profits, get to know two residential or business neighbours, learn about social issues in the community, volunteer 1 day a month, post the community meals calendar and food resources document in your place of business or share community resources with your neighbourhood association.
How can we shift messaging and connect more citizens to this work and to each other?
If folks have past documents, plans or strategies that have been put out by the city, for the city, or by local organizations that have a Calls to Action component please send them to Emily at email@example.com
Equity Resources Shared:
Two resources were shared that are available for neighbourhoods, community groups and work places to engage in.
- Equity training for your group or community organization offered by the TRUSU Equity Committee
- Interactive online sessions led by Indigenous Knowledge Keepers aimed to build positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Service Provider Updates:
- Kamloops United Church- June 21st is National Indigenous People Day. Kamloops United is doing a special service on June 20th.
- An affordable market is in the works at Mount Paul Community Food Centre. Services will be shifting at the centre in the coming months to focus back on the CFC’s hand up not a hand out model. Stay tuned for more updates, and visit the CFC Facebook page to learn more https://www.facebook.com/icsfoodcentre