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Food Security

What is Food Security? It is the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing "when all people at alltimes have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintian a healthy and active life". Food Security is built on three pillars:

  1. Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
  2. Food access: sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
  3. Food use: appropriate use based onknowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.

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The YCS Food Security Program grew from the seeds that were planted through the good work of the North Thompson Food Action Network and their project; “The North Thompson Regional Food Action Plan” (2010) and also the Yellowhead Community Services project, the “Homelessness Study” (2014). These initiatives were able to provide evidence and recommendations to support further food security program development in the Clearwater area.

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Over time, and with generous community support and with financial support of the Province of British Columbia, YCS has been able to offer several food security initiatives and programs to the Clearwater area, including facilitating the Clearwater Food Security Round Table; Community Garden; Neighborhood Kitchen; food preservation, gardening and cooking classes and courses; the Nutrition Coupon Program; The Good Food Box and the Lending Cupboard.


Why is Food Security Important?
Food Security is a world-wide concern that affects all communities, large and small. Squash Harvest.jpgIncreasingly, the cost of fossil fuel, which is a key resource for production, processing and transporting food, is impacting the price and availability of healthy food. Added to this, climate change also will be increasingly affecting food production with the potential for major crop failures, water shortages, and significant changes in weather patterns and temperatures regimes. Certainly, the warmer temperatures will affect water supplies as glaciers retreat and are unable to sustain late summer stream flows, thus affecting irrigation of crops. All these factors will impact food production and availability in the North Thompson, and therefore action is necessary to manage how these changes impinge upon our ability to provide adequate supplies of food at affordable prices. Thus, efforts are needed to grow our own local food with the least amount of use of fossil fuels (or their derivatives such as chemical fertilizers) for production, processing and transportation. Therefore strengthening our own local food systems is of paramount importance.

For more information, please contact the Community Garden and Food Security Coordinator, Joanna Hurst at 250-674-3530 or

Click here for Resources & Local Food Retailers

Additional Information - Links and Publications:

NT Food Action Plan

Homelessness Study

100 Mile Diet

100mile-cover.jpgYou may have a heard of the “100 Mile Diet” lately….this lifestyle is based on the book of the same name which encourages readers to eat locally. While not everyone can successfully source 100% of their diet from within the 100 Mile boundary, you may be surprised to find how large this area actually is, and how much of your groceries you can source from local providers. Here’s how to get started;

  1. Start small - You can start with a single meal, a 100-Mile day, a one-week commitment or even just focus on a particular area, such as produce or meat. Most people partner up, or do the 100-Mile Diet as a family or group.
  2. There are no rules – Make your 100-Mile Diet experiment a challenge and do as much as what works for your family. Share your success with your friends and family and encourage others to join in!
  3. Find your farmers’ market and get to know your local farmers - The easiest and most fun step toward eating locally. Make the market a weekly priority for your food shopping. To find yours, go to the BC Association of Farmers Markets. You can also use the Thompson-Shuswap Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map. Ask around - your friends and neighbors are great sources for knowing where to find local food.
  4. Start a garden… even a tiny one - Self-sufficiency feels good. Don’t have space? Contact the local community garden to reserve a plot. Don’t know how? Keep your eyes open for gardening workshops or borrow a book from the library about food gardening. Contact with the local garden club to connect with other gardeners.
  5. Buy in bulk and preserve - Buying bulk saves money, and preserving your own food for winter is satisfying. If you have never canned before, find out how at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. If you don’t have the equipment, contact the Lending Cupboard to arrange a loan. If you have a cold room, closet, basement or root cellar, you can store root vegetables and more for weeks.
  6.  Now find your 100 miles! - Use this mapping tool to find your 100 miles. First select the radius distance you want below the map.   Most people find a 100-mile radius a useful, easy-to-work-with boundary. Or you can enter any radius distance you want to decide what your own idea of ‘local’ is. Then you can enter your postal code in the search box above the map. Then click on the map for your location.  The mapping tool creates a light green circle that is the radius you have chosen.  If you can't see the circle, you might need to zoom out a few times.

"Community food security exists when all citizens obtain a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance and equal access for everyone"                                                                                                 - Bellows and Hamm, 2003.