The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council (CKFPC) has put out a call to residents of the Central Kootenay to become part of the project’s inaugural council. The CKFPC is now one of over 300 similar councils in North America.
The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council will consider the communities and food systems within the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and work to improve them. They will also explore issues related to hunger, food waste, land and water, distribution and production.
The project is a joint initiative of the RDCK, Community Futures Central Kootenay, and the BC Food Systems Network. Its primary funders are the Real Estate Foundation, Interior Health, Columbia Basin Trust, the Osprey Foundation and the RDCK.
According to a press release, organizers hope the council will “help to identify and create solutions to issues that may not be possible for one organization to tackle on its own but will benefit from a group effort, with the right mix of knowledge, resources and people.”
The project has been up and running since April and organizers have been working out the details for the council in hopes that they can get it right the first time.
“We have taken the time to figure out what shape and form this council should take so that we end up structuring it correctly from the beginning,” said project coordinator Abra Brynne, who has been working with an advisory committee.
The council will be made up of up to 26 members who will represent the diverse geography of the RDCK and the broad spectrum of people who are implicated in food systems. Organizers are looking for applicants ranging from producers and restaurateurs and retailers to emergency food providers and people involved in food literacy, food security and even organic waste streams.
“People with relationships and expertise across that broad spectrum is who we are looking for to have around the council table,” explained Brynne.
“This comes out of many years of conversations, reports, assessments and the AG plan and other initiatives across the region,” said Brynne.
“Ultimately, it is an attempt to create the relationships and some consistency so that the things people are working on in food systems can be better networked, better resourced, better catalyzed — so they don’t happen in isolation where we are using up scarce resources.”
The deadline for applying to be on the council is Oct. 17. The council will most likely meet eight to 10 times a year, alternating locations and utilizing teleconferencing. Terms of reference and the application form can be found at ckfoodpolicy.ca. More information can be found on the project’s website or by contacting the project coordinator Abra Brynne at 250-352-5342.