Let’s Talk Food

One-day summit in Charlottetown focuses on food security initiatives

The City of Charlottetown, in partnership with the United Way and PEI Food Security Network, is hosting a one-day food summit on November 9. Let’s Talk Food will provide an opportunity for people from all areas of the food system to come together, share ideas and discuss projects to address food security and other food issues in the city.

“This event is all about bringing together food producers, distributors, processors, policy makers, government leaders, food advocates and eaters” said Jessica Brown, sustainability officer with the City of Charlottetown.

“[The goal of the event] is to identify what is needed to establish a just and sustainable food system for all on Prince Edward Island. We want the attendees to identify what we can do together in our various roles in the community/food system in the short term and the long term to work toward that ultimate goal,” Brown said of the partnering organizations’ hopes for the summit.

The idea for the summit was put forward by the PEI Food Security Network (PEI FSN), an organization committed to achieving food security in PEI. “We applied for one of those city grants,” said Anne Mazer of the PEI FSN, referring to the city’s Community Sustainability Micro-Grant Program. “The City saw it and said ‘We’d like to partner with you on this’ and then the United Way, through Burger Love, had some money and said ‘We can donate some money.’”

The partnering organizations came together to develop the Let’s Talk Food summit, with the City taking the lead on hosting duties. The City also organized face-to-face meetings with several stakeholders including the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Department of Health and Wellness, the PEI Home & School Association, the Startup Zone, UPEI, Certified Organic Producers Cooperative, PEI Food Exchange, PEI Association for Newcomers, various food banks, and PEI Food Share.

Based on feedback from these organizations and others, the event will be participant-led and employ an Open Space format. Much of the day will be spent connecting and conversing, there will also be some time for eating, and to formulate tangible plans for action based on the day’s discussions.

“We didn’t want people just going away with a list of things that are going to be put on a shelf, we want some action out of this,” Mazer said. Facilitator Paula Gallant will be on hand to lead participants through the day’s activities.

About Shannon Courtney

Shannon oversees all content creation for Salty and may be ‘slightly’ obsessed with proper apostrophe usage. When she’s not writing about food, she’s either cooking, eating, talking, or thinking about it. Her food adventures have included milking a Jersey cow in Australia, almost overdosing on maple syrup in Prince Edward County, and studying local food systems in Vermont as part of her Master’s thesis research. Shannon is also a holistic-nutritionist-in-training and strongly believes you CAN make friends with salad.

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