Nov 3, 2022
To our local directors of the SCRD, and to the new mayors of Sechelt and Gibsons,
This is a joint letter from Sunshine Coast Community Services Society and One Straw Society, as active organizations involved with food security and food systems development on the Sunshine Coast. We are dedicated to nurturing the health of our local communities, and the continued rates of food insecurity are troubling, particularly in the past couple of years.
We welcome you all to your new role (or term) as a representative and voice for our communities! As a local leader, we turn to you to make the issues of food insecurity a priority in your work, and to take action in our communities here on the Sunshine Coast.
Based on recent Canadian Census data, one in eight BC households (nearly 15%) are facing some degree of food insecurity, meaning they are unable to reliably access nutritious and culturally relevant food on a regular basis. One in five children experience food insecurity within their households, seriously affecting the next generation of residents of our community.
To combat food insecurity we must move beyond the traditional food charity model and work on innovative and dignified access and income programs. We believe that everyone has the right to access food that is nutritious and culturally relevant, and see food insecurity as a top priority locally, particularly as a rural, ferry dependent community. Enhancing our own local food resilience through support for growers and processors is also a part of this work. We are asking you to do everything in your power to help address this moving forward, and in collaboration with organizations and groups that are already working on it. Significant change is possible and necessary.
We will continue to follow up on the issue of food security with you over the next few months and beyond. A great place for you to start would be to become familiar with the Sunshine Coast Food Charter. Thank you for taking steps in supporting our communities toward health, well being, and true food security.
Casandra Fletcher, Executive Director
One Straw Society
Chris Hergesheimer, Lead Food Programmer
Sunshine Coast Community Services Society