This past year, the Partners for Healthier Communities Committee: North Cariboo (P4HC:NC), undertook phase two of the Empowering Family Health Project.
Funded by Northern Health through a Stream Two: Imagining Community Resilience – Partners for Healthier Communities Grant, the project focused on bringing people together at the community level to learn more about food production and food security through canning, wild foraging, dehydration and fermented foods.
The project began in April by sponsoring Seedy Saturday, which was hosted by Q-Town Collective and the Seedy Saturday Committee.
This event was well attended by residents from across the North Cariboo.
During the summer and into the autumn, the committee supported workshops being held in Bouchie Lake, Baker Creek, Kersley, Barlow Creek, and Ten Mile Lake/Moose Heights.
These workshops were championed by local residents who shared their knowledge in foraging for wild foods and the following food preservation techniques: dehydration, pressure canning and fermentation. The workshops got off to a challenging start due to the 2017 wildfire season, resulting in some of the workshops being rescheduled but, all in all, the project has been a success.
The number of people attending the workshops was 119.
The Empowering Family Health Project has a large focus on developing partnerships and collaboration, and the project would not have been as successful without the support of local organizations and businesses.
A special thank you toes to Barlow Creek Recreation Commission, Baker Creek Community Association, Kersley Community Association, Parkland Recreation Commission and Moose Meadows Farm for their support and making their venues available to the project at no charge.
Another thank you goes to Growing North Cariboo Society for providing the administration support for the project.
The volunteer component of this project cannot be understated.
The final components of phase two is underway – the purchase of food preservation books for a lending library for five rural communities.
The P4HC:NC is now developing plans for phase three, which will be underway in 2018 if all goes well.
In the autumn of 2017, the P4HC:NC distributed a Request for Proposal so groups throughout the North Cariboo could apply for some of the funds the P4HC:NC is hoping to secure for 2018.
Several applications were received, which will be incorporated into the 2018 application to Northern Health.
If funds are successfully secured, the P4HC:NC will be supporting community gardens, school gardens, and more workshops.
The P4HC:NC is one of 27 Partners for Healthier Committees established in the Northern Health authority.
The committee is chaired by Lynnette Winsor with Northern Health and Robin Sharpe (Mayor of Wells) with the Cariboo Regional District.
The committee is comprised of stakeholders from across the North Cariboo who have a passion and interest in community health and food security.
The mandate of the committee is to support programs and develop strategies that promote healthy eating, local food security, and physical activity.
The P4HC:NC is unique in that it is the only P4HC committee that is Regional District-based.
If you are interested in joining the committee, the P4HC:NC would love to hear from you.
To find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or GNC@farmed.ca or check out http://empoweringfamilyhealth.blogspot.ca
Heloise Dixon-Warren is the program resource development and workshop facilitator.