Food Summit to Address Food Problems in Waterloo Region
Waterloo Over 150 residents and leaders in Waterloo Region will come together on November 16th and 17th to share ideas for ensuring that everyone has access to sufficient nutritious food. While local food banks stuggle to keep up with the demand for food assistance in this economy, participants in the Waterloo Region Food Summit will identify ways to move toward a society where no one depends on food handouts.
The event will coincide with a United Nations Food Summit being held in Rome November 16th-18th, which will be addressing the global hunger problem. Like the UN assembly, the Waterloo Region Food Summit will work on a declaration committing its signatories to work on addressing the problems.
“It’s astounding that, in this prosperous community, 10% of us worry about not having enough food to eat,” commented Wendi Campbell, Summit Co-Chair and Executive Director of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. “We know there is no easy answer. It will take a multi-faceted approach to make it possible for everyone to satisfy this basic need.”
The Food Summit will put issues of hunger and poverty into the larger context of other problems with the food system. Ellen Desjardins, the other Summit Co-Chair who also Co-Chairs the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable, believes hunger is one of many serious problems with our food system. “Our current system pays farmers much too little, and produces consumer demand for foods that are bad for our health and the environment,” she said. “We need to collectively work towards a system where residents have greater control over the types of food and food places to which they have access.”
The Summit will be held at the Victoria Park Pavilion on the evening of Monday, November 16th (7pm-9pm) and all day Tuesday, November 17th (9am-5pm). Monday night will feature speakers Kathryn Scharf, Program Director of The STOP Community Food Centre in Toronto, and Elbert Van Donkersgoed, Editor of The Locavore News: Perspectives on Good Food and Farming.
The Waterloo Region Food Summit is jointly hosted by The Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable and Waterloo Region Shares, and is proudly supported by several organizations in the Region. The event is open to the public and free of cost, however registration is required in advance. Tuesday’s sessions are full: new registrants will be put on a waiting list.
To register for the event, or for a detailed agenda, please call 519-883-2004 x.5296 or visit www.wrfoodsystem.ca.