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CNC wants to know what Quesnel knows about local food

College survey checking with area residents about food security
The Quesnel Farmers’ Market accepts all carrots, they don’t have to just be straight. It’s the natural goodness inside that counts, each one representing a step toward local food security. (Frank Peebles photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The deadline is March 1 to speak up on local food security using a College of New Caledonia (CNC) survey.

The college and Public Health Association of BC are conducting a research study together on sourcing and growing local food. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has funded the project through the Feed BC program to help post-secondary institutions build capacity for increasing their use of B.C. food.

“It is important for people to have access to local, healthy food every day, and this survey will help people around (the CNC region) strengthen food security and farming in their communities,” said Pam Alexis, B.C.’s minister of agriculture. “This research will support new and established food producers in the community develop new opportunities and contribute to a sustainable food system in the region.”

“Everyone needs to eat,” said CNC vice-president Chad Thompson. “In a world facing climate change and growing food insecurity, we need to adapt and be part of the solution to meet that critical need. This research study is one of the ways CNC is working with partners to better understand a community need so we can contribute to solutions.”.

The goals of the research study are to:

- Understand residents’ views on the local food culture;

- Provide a one-day workshop on local crop cultivation at CNC’s Prince George campus geodesic greenhouse in March;

- Prepare research findings which may recommend future coursework at the college and micro-credentials.

“We have been here before, when food supplies were threatened and we learned how to survive,” said Theresa Healy, president of Public Health Association of BC. “We need to reclaim and relearn that hard-won knowledge. We need to remember how we relied on local, when you could become famous for your tomatoes, or for growing grapes where grapes weren’t supposed to grow. Local food helped build local community. Let’s start again, building local healthy local communities where we can learn how to grow good food together.

CNC will also reach out to local food community partners to involve them in the survey and a workshop in March. Once the findings from the research are available, the college will study the feasibility of future course work on food security and crop cultivation.

“Being sustainable with the ability to grow food in a northern climate is becoming exceedingly important,” said Shelby Roberts, a CNC researcher. “Sourcing and growing local food will be vital in dealing with climate change and natural disasters, as well as challenges such as increasing inflation.”

The online survey is available at until Friday. CLICK RIGHT HERE to get to it

Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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