Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op (CLFC) is currently engaged in a one-year project aimed at increasing market access for Northwestern Ontario farmers. Further, in partnership with Lakehead University’s Food Security Research Network, CLFC is working to support the Greenbelt Fund to collect community input and develop a regional food charter for the Kenora and Rainy River districts.
Since the project began in April 2017, eight community input sessions focused on regional food systems have taken place in the district of Kenora. Community feedback in Kenora and Rainy River districts will continue to be collected until the end of June 2017. Thus far, participants have identified a need for: greater knowledge and accessibility to traditional Anishinaabe foods; improved logistics in terms of transportation for local food producers; accessibility and affordability of healthy foods; protection of natural resources to ensure continued access to wild and traditional foods; preservation of local agriculture; increased access to resources for local farmers; a thriving and sustainable local food production system.
What does this project mean for the Thunder Bay area? CLFC will be focused on increasing local farmers’/producer’s market access across Northern Ontario by developing local strategies to engage consumers, restaurants, and institutions. The aim will be cultivating partnerships in the area, developing new consumer food distribution points, and engaging the community in events and workshops that showcase local farmers/producers.
Monika Lucas is the new Thunder Bay Community Coordinator. She brings a wealth of relevant skills and experience to the role, and is passionate about local food and supporting the local economy. Based just outside the City of Thunder Bay, Monika is excited to work with the local community of producers, consumers, restaurants, and institutions to work toward a thriving local food system. If you wish to contact Monika regarding her role in the community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to speak with you.