Revelstoke’s community food charter was unveiled at the North Columbia Environmental Society’s Harvestpalooza event last Friday, and it sets out a path for local food security in the community.
“The food charter is looking at how Revelstoke can become and continue to work on the good things we’re already doing to be more food resilient,” explained Hailey Ross, who led the development of the charter.
Local food security and resiliency has been a major focus of the NCES over the past few years, most evident through it’s programs that encourage gardening in town.
The Revelstoke Community Food Resilience Charter, as it’s formally known, lays out a vision for food security:
“Recognizing that Revelstoke is culturally diverse, we are committed to strengthening our food resilience to support the economic, ecological and social well-being of the community with:
— Access to nutritious, safe affordable food as a basic human right for all residents
— Access to food that is sustainably and ethically produced
— Recognize of the importance of quality food to our health and well-being
— Increasing local and regional food production through personal, business and government actions
— Appreciating the importance of eating together.”
“Essentially there’s a lot of things we’re doing in town with regards to food security but we’re not necessarily doing it in any strategized way,” said Ross. “There’s lots of different ideas of what food security and food resiliency means to different people.”
The charter was put together by a team of 11, Ross, nutritionist Melissa Hemphill, Patti Larson from the food bank, councillors Linda Nixon and Chris Johnston, Alan Mason, the city’s director of economic development; Sam Olynyk, who represented the old farming community; Elmer Rorstad, a trustee on the Revelstoke Board of Education; Kelsey Croxall, a public health nurse, Susan Knight from the Revelstoke Fair Trade Society; and Claire Sieber.
“The huge value I saw in it was the process of getting together a pretty diverse group of people who all had an interest in food for a variety of reasons and they all came to the table and stated what their interest was in it,” said Ross.
She said they hope to have the charter ratified by city council. Right now, they are soliciting feedback on it; there was a copy available at Harvestpalooza where people could place stickers indicating what they did and didn’t like.
The charter will be made available to read at the library, several restaurant in town and on the NCES website.
“If people want to have a look and see how we’ve written it up or if there’s words that don’t make sense, or statements that people don’t really like – if there’s anything we really missed, then we want to hear that,” said Ross.