Working together to build a healthier food system in Headwaters

Wouldn’t it be great to know your child is buying a nutritious meal at school when you didn’t have time to pack a lunch?

Or that the vegetables in the meal at your mother’s long-term care home are entirely locally grown?

Can you imagine a food system that provides easy access to healthy local food options? Not just at the grocery store but at work, schools and restaurants?
fresh vegetables What about a food system that protects prime farmland? Or works to create jobs in the food and farming industry?

Imagine a booming culinary industry that puts Headwaters on the map as a great foodie destination.

All those things would be nice, right? The only trouble is… how do we get there?

Well, it starts with coming together as a community to form a common vision, values and goals around food and farming. Over the past year the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance (HFFA), of which Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is one of the community organizations involved and has been working with community stakeholders to develop a Headwaters Food Charter.

Woman picking our produce

What is a food charter anyway?

Basically, a food charter is a community vision for our local food system. That’s right, “community”. Meaning, it’s a collaborative project. It involves input from businesses, municipalities, schools, community organizations and interested community members – like you!

Food Charter graphic

One important thing that a food charter will do in Headwaters is start conversations about food and farming. All the other great things to come out of a food charter start right there, because the food charter uses food as a tool for community action.

Imagine a food system that makes sure all residents have enough safe, healthy and culturally appropriate food.

Imagine a food system that promotes food being grown and produced in Headwaters, and a food system that increases the availability of local food for its residents.

And imagine doing all this while protecting the environment.

The Headwaters Food Charter

As you can probably tell, creating a food charter is no modest task. The HFFA has worked with stakeholders for the past year developing six pillar areas. These pillars are the foundation of the community vision and include:

  • Agricultural Sustainability
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Food Access & Equity
  • Health & Well-being
  • Culture & Celebration
  • Economic Vitality

Share your thoughts

The next step in creating the Headwaters Food Charter is getting input from community members. It is a community vision after all.

We developed a short online survey to gather input from community members on the values and goals in the draft food charter, and we hope you’ll take a few minutes to read and share your thoughts on it.

The Food Charter survey will close November 5, 2016. Please fill out the survey today!

When you’re done, you can fill out a separate ballot and you’ll be entered into a draw for a $100 gift certificate at a great local restaurant.

Once we gather all of our community feedback, we will start creating a local action plan to start working towards these goals.

Jill Davies
Communications Specialist