Thriving Places Mean Addressing Roots

Communities Can’t Do It Alone

Everywhere we look these days things are sprouting, blooming and thriving.   This same kind of vibrancy has been spreading across Peterborough City and County for years in efforts to build stronger, healthier communities by starting with people’s needs.   Attention on growing, picking, acquiring, cooking, sharing, discussing, learning about and, most importantly, eating healthy food is all around us.  The sheer volume of food boxes distributed, nutritious school breakfasts and snacks provided, community meals served, cooking classes offered and community gardens established is staggering.  And all this is taking place in place, with attention to where and how people are living.  It is building up the communities where people live.

At the end of the day, however, many people still have difficult choices to make around meeting their own and their households’ needs, such as choosing between food on the table or a roof overhead.  Increasingly, people answer this question by turning to this vibrant web of community initiatives.  However, the fact is that the ability of individuals and households to ensure all their basic needs are met is ultimately a matter of income, something that communities cannot address on their own.

Planting Nurturing

The reality of the food-shelter dilemma lies at the heart of a study conducted over the past year by researchers from Nourishing Communities: Sustainable Local Food Systems Research Group.  We have been exploring the relationship between food access and housing security by focusing on Peterborough, a place experiencing both significant challenges and significant efforts to address them, as the ideal case study.  The resulting report has drawn on the knowledge, experience and insights of people who know Peterborough best: those who live and work here.


How can we build a vibrant community where all people have access to good food AND adequate housing?  We need to think BIG.  To find out more, come to the launch of Housing Security, Food Access and Community Connections: A Case Study of Peterborough, Ontario to hear more about our research group’s findings and a promising path forward.   The event will be held Monday June 15 at Bagnani Hall, Traill College, 310 London St. from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Traill map

This post is submitted by Mary Anne Martin a member of Nourish  and a research assistant with the Nourishing Communities Sustainable Local Food Systems Research Group.