Food charter feedback urged

Duane Hicks

The Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op is looking for more feedback before the end of March on a draft of a new food charter for the Kenora and Rainy River District.
The food charter, which essentially is a reference document that states what a community wants its local food system to look like, has been developed over the past year with input from stakeholders such as the Lakehead University Centre for Sustainable Food Systems Research Network, the Northwestern Health Unit, municipalities, and community members.
The co-op now is presenting a final opportunity for feedback before the document is finalized, Cloverbelt’s Rainy River District community co-ordinator Anita Marcotte told Fort Frances council during its regular meeting Monday night.
The public can view the draft charter and provide input online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Regionalfoodcharter
The deadline to provide input is March 31.
Marcotte said the co-op expects the final version of the charter to come out later this spring.
It will be announced through its website, as well as via social media, newspapers, and partners.
Once the charter is released, it will be up local municipal councils to endorse the document–if they agree with it–and then use it to go forward in supporting local and regional activities that advance the charter vision and values, said Marcotte.
“We hope that councils will envision it as a reference document that will help them to make decisions and/or policy with respect to issues related to food procurement and food security for their citizens,” she noted.
“As well, councils may consider using the charter to help address child and adult hunger, low nutritional status, household food issues, and related negative health, social, cultural, and economic impacts if these are, indeed, issues that they deal with,” Marcotte added.
She said the charter can become an essential tool to help facilitate the needed awareness and understanding of food security issues and sustainable solutions in the community, as well as guide actions to create the change that is needed.
For more information about the co-op, visit www.cloverbeltlocalfoodcoop.com
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•awarded service contracts for 2018-20 to JD Plumbing Solutions, Pryde’s Heating, and CANNECT Electric;
•approved meeting per diems for Coun. Wendy Brunetta, totalling $320, for her attendance at recent RRDMA and NOMA meetings;
•received a letter of resignation from the BIA board by Jennifer Horton, with thanks for her contribution;
•referred a donation request from Brian Gustafson, staff advisor to the Fort Frances High School “Chem-Free Grad” committee, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation; and
•referred a letter from Rainy Lake Plaza owner A. Werenko, re: an application for a rebate on property taxes, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation.

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