We are thrilled to announce that our YWCA's food programs have garnered national recognition from Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC).
Having developed strong roots in food work over the past 24 years, our agency has been named a Good Food Organization. In gaining this status, we join 73 other like-minded organizations across Canada working for the future of food. Good Food Organizations follow a set of principles which emphasize the creation of respectful environments, offer high-calibre programs, and use quality food while working towards building progressive social change.
In the 1980s we saw that when women left our Crossroads shelter, many lived in poverty. Our first food activity was building a community garden. The result: new friendships and healthy food. As stated by Lynn Zimmer, YWCA Executive Director, "as a women's organization, the YWCA is acutely aware of how much difference an investment in healthy food for all can make. We continue to advance our work in this area because we believe that food literacy, access to healthy food and skills in food advocacy are essential to help women and children thrive."
In a society where women are more vulnerable to poverty, over one in three single mothers (35%) experience food insecurity. Mothers living in low-income households are typically the last ones to eat and they tend to compromise the quality of they food they eat in order to make ends meet.
Through a strong and long-standing partnership with the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, the YWCA has established a collaboration called Nourish. We work with farmers, growers, health promoters, entrepreneurs, eaters, foodies and chefs. While specific goals vary from partner to partner, common to all is the commitment to establish a vibrant regional network of places where people can access healthy food, learn food skills, and advocate for fairer, more just food systems.
Taken together, these initiatives demonstrate the power of food as a tool for health, community and economic development - a means of creating connections and initiating critical conversations over the role that food plays in our cultures, our communities, and our lives.