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Federal Food Policy – Can I really make a difference? October 13, 2010

Posted by gfsa in Countdown to P2S, Food Thoughts.
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This week is the launch of the second round of  People’s Food Policy Project (PFPP) Kitchen Table talks.  It’s an exciting week with lots of people all over Canada hosting and attending Kitchen Table talks.  One of the focuses for these talks is to review and give feedback on 10 Policy Chapters that have been drafted based on input from Canadians.  Many of these are policies that are aimed at changes that are needed at the federal level to improve food sovereignty in Canada.  That’s big news, but it can also be a little overwhelming. 

Why should you care?  How can one person have an impact on such a big issue?  Does it really make a difference?  I’m going to say YES!  Right now, there are a lot of challenges within our food system.  If we don’t voice our opinions then nothing will change.  The People’s Food Policy Project is exactly what the name infers – WE (as in you and I and our neighbours), the PEOPLE, are saying what we think about food in our communities.  This includes things like where it comes from, how much it costs, how it is raised, processed, packaged, and transported, who makes money from it, how it impacts the environment and future generations, why there is hunger and much more.  These are important messages that our government needs to hear.

But there is another reason to care!  Not only is the PFPP creating policies that will be presented to the federal government, it has also provided a great opportunity for communities to talk about what is happening on the home front.  Many groups are seizing the opportunity to discuss and understand food and food sovereignty at a local level.  What’s happening in our neighbourhoods and communities?  Some of these discussions are leading to fantastic spin-offs, including local networking and ACTIONS!  Actions around food, food security and food sovereignty right in your own backyard. 

In my humble opinion, it is these local actions that will ultimately change our food system.  As we discuss food in our own communities, we increase awareness and interest.  The actions that spin out of these discussions can lead to local changes.  As more and more individuals and communities begin to make changes our governments will also be pressured to make changes.  This can lead to policy changes at all levels -municipal, provincial and federal!

The PFPP is a vehicle to positively impact our food systems both locally AND federally.  So, although it may seem overwhelming to think that WE the PEOPLE could actually change federal policy, I say YES WE CAN! 

Don’t miss your opportunity to get involved!  Check out the PFPP web site and Kitchen Table talks in your community or contact your PFPP Animators: Susan Roberts (susanr@cbr-aimhigh.com) or Angie Dedrick (adedrick@telus.net) .

Submitted by: Angie Dedrick, GFSA

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