Surrey /White Rock Food Action Coalition is a group of citizens, agencies and other leaders in collaborative food security work. We believe everyone has a contribution to make in advancing food policy and food security in our communities. We invite you to get involved!
“Food security at the community level is achieved when all citizens obtain a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance, and equal access for everyone.” (PlanH Action Guide for Healthy Eating and Food Security, 2013)
We work to:
- Promote local food and food connections
- Support local champions to take on food related projects in their neighbourhood
- Partner with a variety of stakeholders to advance good, healthy food for everyone
- Address food waste and work to glean and rescue food
- Support positive food experiences through community kitchens and garden development and involvement
- Create a welcoming food culture across diverse groups
- Incubate projects that increase income
- Advance food access and distribution
A Snapshot of the Need
In Canada, we don’t often hear of people starving to death. We have mechanisms in place to make sure this doesn’t happen. We do, however, have more than one million households or 1 in 12 people that experiences food insecurity, and this issue is likely even more concentrated in Surrey, which has 11 of the 20 poorest neighbourhoods in BC. Food insecurity is a critical issue because it has significant and long lasting effects on individuals and families.
The Conference Board of Canada noted in 2013 that diet deprived children are less able to concentrate and perform well at school, thus threatening their opportunity to gain an education and vital life skills. Over the long term, these children may find it more difficult to find a job and stay out of poverty.
Household food insecurity also increases the risk among children for hospitalizations, poor health, and behaviour problems, including aggression, anxiety, depression and ADD which affects their functioning in social situations.
It also affects adults and the long term experience of food insecurity is associated with increased risk of mental, physical and oral health problems among adults. Again, this can significantly affect their well being by limiting opportunities for work, recreation and socialization.
We work together to change this.
Collective Impact is a way to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to make collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change.
We have four main focus areas (income, food literacy, access and distribution) to create change in the food system in Surrey through Seeds of Change Surrey.
Mission: “Together, We Grow!”
Vision: Good, Healthy Food for Everyone
The Surrey-White Rock Food Action Coalition is a collection of agencies and concerned citizens that formed in 2005 with a focus on enhancing access to healthy foods, building capacity so citizens can lead and feel empowered to grow and prepare their own food and enhancing and addressing food policy across the City. Each year our influence and impact grows and changes, this is the result of engagement and involvement from people like you who are interested in good, healthy food and want to see our food system change for the better.
A food policy is any decision, program or project that is endorsed by a government agency, business, or organization that effects how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased, protected and disposed. Food policy operates at the global, national, provincial, regional, local and institutional levels.
At the local and municipal level, examples of food policies include:
- The regulatory requirements placed on someone planning to open a food-based business;
- Food purchasing decisions of institutional buyers and how they relate to the use of locally produced items;
- A decision by school officials on whether or not to allow junk food and soft drinks in the vending machines;
- The child nutrition requirements placed on daycares that receive municipal funding.