ABOUT THE NIAGARA FOOD SECURITY NETWORK
The Niagara Food Security Network is a collective of community members, community groups, networks, non-profit agencies, charitable organizations, faith groups, individuals with lived experience, government, business and agricultural sector representatives, and others working to address food security in the Niagara region. We are collaborating to strengthen the food security system for everyone, especially for vulnerable and at-risk individuals in Niagara. United Way provides backbone support to the Network and fosters collaboration to ultimately improve access to healthy, culturally appropriate and affordable food in the Niagara region. Click HERE to learn more about the Collective and the work being done to address food insecurity through the Network.
The Collective’s Theory of Change
The purpose of the Network is to make Niagara a food secure community for everyone. We will achieve this by focusing our efforts on the Theory of Change and four foundational strategies and key activities to achieve a set of outcomes aimed at reaching our intended impact.
The four strategies include:
- Growing, Harvesting & Securing
- Logistics, Distribution & Storage
- Preparing & Eating
Our Intended Community Impact
Within ten years, 80 per cent of food insecure households in Niagara will have access to affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate food, at the right time and in the right place.
What We’re Working On
The Niagara Food Security Network members are involved in a collective impact project to address food insecurity and food justice in the Niagara region. The 10 Year plan is focused on improving food security by collaboratively working with all of the food system players. Over the next year, we aim to conduct work related to food security in the areas of:
- Knowledge Sharing
- Community Partnerships and Engagement
- Pathways to Food
- Strengthen Food Literacy, Education and Knowledge
- Research and Data
- Develop Shared Measurement Strategies
- Strengthen Collaboration Among Food Security Providers
- Develop and Implement Pilot Projects to Improve Food Security
- Explore Culturally Appropriate Food Opportunities
To learn more about the projects of the Network or the four Strategy Action Teams, please contact Tamara Coleman-Lawrie at [email protected] or another Planning Team member (contact information) below.
How We Got Here
The Niagara Food Security Network was formed in 2020 to work on key recommendations coming out of the Niagara Food Forum (2019), hosted by United Way Niagara to engage the food security sector players. In late 2020, a series of conversations were conducted to gather the voices of individuals who are experiencing food insecurity and living in the Niagara region. Read the Lived Experience Engagement Report.
In 2020, the Network applied to Innoweave to conduct a two-year Food Security Collective Impact Project with the support of expert coaches from Social Impact Advisors. The Network has completed Phase One and is currently involved in Phase Two of the two-year project. Phase One focused on the development of the Theory of Change, our Intended Outcomes and Impact and co-creating strategies with community and the Network members. Phase One included engaging with key informants to develop a collective impact model for the collective to address food insecurity.
Phase Two will continue from Fall 2022 to mid 2023 and focus on developing the activities to achieve the goals and intended impact. Mid to late 2023 will see the Network ident