Bring Food Home to host Collaborative Policy Discussions this year: sessions on Municipal Food Policy & more

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: October 18, 2017

Categories: GoodFoodBites / Municipal Regional Food Policy Network / News from Sustain Ontario

Evaluation session BFH 2015With Bring Food Home just over a week away, our medley of engaging sessions that have been in the works for months now are coming to fruition!

Unique to this year’s Bring Food Home conference, we are really excited for the series of Collaborative Sessions, which have been scheduled and organized by the Networks of Sustain Ontario, and will take the form of small group discussions.

One of these sessions, for instance, Food Policy: Relationships with government and what this means, will be presented by Facilitator Phil Mount, alongside Student Researchers Omar Elsharkawy and Sylvie La Forge.

This particular session will explore the inner workings of various food policy councils, while looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

“The aim is provide a brief overview of what food policy councils in Ontario are doing, especially how they govern themselves,” explains Omar. “In addition to providing the attendees with information on what food policy councils in Ontario are doing, the aim is to have members from food policy councils across Ontario network and learn from each other.”

The session is intimately linked with another happening later that same day (October 28), Learning from Experience: How Food Policy Councils Create change, which will expand on the first discussion.

“These food policy sessions build from years of discussions at Sustain Ontario’s Municipal Food Policy Network,” Phil shares, “where the province’s local and regional food policy councils, roundtables and strategy groups have collaborated to share their experiences, challenges and successes.”

Since April, all of Sustain Ontario’s networks—like the Municipal Food Policy Network—have been eagerly working on Policy Position Papers, forming policy recommendations through students’ research. Each collaborative session at Bring Food Home has one of these policy position papers at its core.

“Our position paper is specifically focusing on how food policy councils both govern and evaluate themselves (if they do),” Omar explains. “The paper has some minor recommendations on how and why FPCs evaluate themselves.”

“These sessions will dig deeper to understand just how each group’s relationship to local government shapes their actions and potential,” says Phil, “and whether that is influenced by local context (big city; rural; remote).”

Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out the Bring Food Home program here for all of the sessions, and for more information on these exciting collaborative policy discussions.

Phil adds, “this is the voice from inside the local food policy world, from those who understand it best.”

If you don’t want to miss out, register here!