About Niagara Food Security Network

The Niagara Food Security Network, founded and facilitated by United Way Niagara, is made up of over 100 individuals and community organizations. Our goal is to strengthen food security for all residents in Niagara. United Way provides backbone support to the Network and fosters collaboration between stakeholders to ultimately improve access to safe, healthy and affordable food in Niagara.

The Niagara Food Security Network is a network of community groups, non-profit agencies, charitable organizations, faith groups and others collaboratively working to address food-related needs and challenges. The purpose of the Network is to make Niagara food secure for everyone. We will achieve this by strategically working on the key recommendations and next steps identified from the Niagara Food Forum and other local work conducted by our community partners.

Identifying the Key Challenges, Opportunities and Investment Areas:

United Way held the Niagara Food Forum in January 2019. The Forum brought together more than 100 stakeholders which resulted in the recommendation to address key issues relating to food provision and security in Niagara:

  • taking stock of our community assets and developing approaches that maximize our asset inventory
  • examining best practices and exploring research and innovation that addresses food insecurity
  • ensuring stakeholders in Niagara are using date to inform, share knowledge and evaluate our investments

  • exploring partnerships with our agricultural sector and social enterprise
  • engaging our community residents and those with lived experience

  • analyzing challenges, barriers, opportunities in our current systems, including logistics, storage, warehousing and transportation
  • expanding and enhancing public education and engagement opportunities
  • maximizing food use, recovery, rescue, transformation and waste
  • effectively utilizing our many community kitchens and spaces
  • promoting and standardizing volunteerism and youth engagement

What We’re Working On

The Niagara Food Security Network members have 5 Priority Tables collectively working on addressing the key issues:

1. Assets & Evidence
2. Food Hubs, Use, Rescue & Logistics
3. Public Education & Lived Experience Engagement
4. Farmers Partnerships
5. Social Enterprise & Innovation

To learn more about the projects of each Priority Table, please contact Tamara Coleman-Lawrie at [email protected].

Network Members

The Niagara Food Security Network membership is open to all of Niagara’s residents, community groups, networks, non-profit agencies, charitable organizations, faith groups, individuals with lived experience, political representatives and others working to address food security. Membership involves working to create more opportunities to access nutritious food for those who need it, and ensuring they have the information they need to maintain healthier lives. Members may include representatives from the many food systems in Niagara (Niagara Connects, Food Systems in Niagara Map 2016) such as, but not limited to:

  • Environment
  • Growing and Harvesting
  • Processing and Packaging
  • Distribution and Storage
  • Access
  • Agritourism
  • Preparing and Eating
  • Waste and Disposal

Get involved

Members are always welcome. Membership and volunteers are encouraged from all sectors, and is open to any provincial, federal, regional or other agencies, networks, etc. that may play a role in achieving food security in Niagara.

To join the network or learn more about the role you play in addressing food security in Niagara, please contact Tamara Coleman-Lawrie at [email protected].

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