The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy is organized around the 7 pillars of a sustainable food system, which were selected by the community at a Food Summit held in March 2013.
Food Access: Create a food system in Thunder Bay and Area based on the principles that food is a more than a commodity—that it is a human right—and in which all community members have regular access to adequate, affordable, nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate food in a way that maintains dignity.
Forest and Freshwater Foods: Increase our region’s knowledge of available forest and fresh water foods and their sustainable harvest, protect and conserve forest and fresh water food ecosystems, and support a diverse and sustainable forest and fresh water foods economy within the region.
Food Infrastructure: Support the creation of a local food supply chain that links production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in ways that sustain the local economy, minimize environmental impact and improve people’s access to healthy food.
Food Procurement: Leverage procurement food spending to develop a public sector food supply chain that contributes to the economic, ecological and social well-being of Thunder Bay and Area through food purchases that foster local production, processing, and distribution.
Food Production: Protect and encourage growth in farm-scale production so that a greater proportion of food is grown, raised, prepared, processed, and purchased closer to home.
School Food Environments: Improve the eating habits, food skills and food literacy of children and youth in Thunder Bay and Area through supportive healthy school food environments.
Urban Agriculture: Increase food production in the urban landscape and support the participation of citizens in urban agriculture activities.
During the development of the Food Strategy, working groups were organized around the seven pillars to draft that section of the document, including recommendations and actions. After the Food Strategy was endorsed by local councils in the summer of 2014, the Food Strategy shifted into implementation. The working groups evolved to reflect this and became more project based. In the second year of this project (year one of implementation), the Food Strategy facilitated twelve working groups.