Geographically, we are referring to the food cultivated and obtained within the forests, fields, and freshwaters of the Manitoulin district. The Local Food movement unites multiple sectors including: farmers, Knowledge Keepers, producers, and harvesters. The purpose is to shorten the links from getting our food from land to plate in efforts to diminish the reliance on a corporately- controlled food system. The Local Food movement is rooted in stepping away from market- oriented ways of thinking about food as a resource to food as living beings that are to be honoured. Renewing our relationship to the land and waterways that surround us. The Local Food movement aims to provide the knowledge, skills, and the space for practice to empower the Manitoulin district to reclaim control over their food system and choose where their food comes from.
Healthy food access is defined by the Government of Canada as “the access to and the means to choose and obtain healthy, safe, local, and culturally accepted food.” While the Manitoulin district is bountiful with freshwater, fertile lands, and strong community connections, communities within the district experience a unique set of challenges regarding healthy food access:
Transportation: The Manitoulin district has an insufficient population base to support a public transportation system leaving many reliant on community programs and family to drive them to the grocery store.
Location of Grocery Stores: The grocery stores within the district of Manitoulin are located within the densely populated communities. While being convenient for some members of the population, there are many members that are required to take hours out of their day to complete a round trip to the grocery store.
Cost: The shipping produce to Manitoulin comes at a high cost due to the labour and gas required. The price of purchasing produce and other goods are reflective of these expenses.
Local Food Manitoulin draws from two intertwined branches to drive Manitoulin’s local food movement forward:
1. Knowledge of getting food From Seed to Table
2. Knowledge on accessing Forest, Field, and Freshwater foods.