Archive for Uncategorized

World Food Day 2021 Report: Food in Peterborough after COVID-19

On World Food Day 2021, the Peterborough Food Action Network released a report on food security during COVID-19, and how Peterborough can move towards a better “normal” beyond the pandemic.

READ THE FULL REPORT, Food in Peterborough after COVID-19

Learn more and make change happen:

  • Attend Hungry for Income: A 7-week series that will transform your understanding of food insecurity.  For information or to register, go to  The next series runs on Mondays at 6:30 p.m., starting on November 8, 2021.
  • Visit for ideas to connect with your MPP about solutions to food insecurity:
    • Peterborough-Kawartha: Dave Smith
    • Northumberland-Peterborough South: David Piccini
    • Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock: Laurie Scott
  • Visit to learn about and support local food systems (hosted by the Peterborough Alliance for Food and Farming).
  • Connect with Food for Kids at  Their school food box program promotes healthy local food in our community.
  • Join Joshna Maharaj, chef, author and activist, for a public lecture in November, on rebuilding our food systems after the pandemic.  See the Lady Eaton College events page for details.
  • Learn more about the Peterborough Food Action Network.

From crisis to continuity: A community response to local food systems challenges in, and beyond, the days of Covid-19

How has our community responded to food-systems challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Trent University collaborated with community partners in development of a report looking at the community response to local food systems challenges.  See the description below from Trent Grow Change, and access the report here.

This study heard from Peterborough-area residents and food support organizations regarding the ways that residents have been accessing and engaging with food during the pandemic – and how organizations have been responding during this time to food access needs. Impacts were experienced unequally among local residents, with more severe consequences for already-marginalized populations. Organizations began to observe increased food insecurity, housing insecurity, mental health issues, social isolation, and substance use issues among the people they serve. With limited resources and increased challenges, organizations quickly restructured their supports to safely address the most acute needs of residents while maintaining a focus on more sustainable solutions to food inequities.

A big thank you to everyone who has made this research possible, and to everyone who has shared their voices, time, and energy in working towards just, sustainable food systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Food Network Response to COVID-19 in Peterborough

The COVID-19 and Food Access for Vulnerable populations group has truly done wonderful work since the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Dr. Mary Anne Martin has written about this food network response to COVID-19 in Peterborough,  on the Nourish website, here.

Thank you to everyone who has made this important work possible!



No Money for Food is Cent$less – Tools and Resources to Take Action

Find tools and resources to take action on the issue of food insecurity by visiting the Ontario Dietitians in Public Health, No Money for Food is Cent$less Website. Tools include a Youth Action on Food Insecurity Toolkit, Template Letters to Federal Leaders, and more:


The Time is Now – How to Support a Guaranteed Basic Income

At the root of food insecurity is inadequate incomes. Research suggests that income solutions (such as basic income) are needed to address food insecurity. If you happen to believe in a Basic Income Guarantee, please write your local MP or any Politician with whom you are connected or you want to influence, before the speech from the throne announcing government priorities, September 23, 2020.

When writing to your MP, feel free to copy a template letter into an email (See below). Personalize your message by adding that you live in your MP’s riding and add any other information or personal experience you’ve had that show why basic income is needed in Canada. Please copy Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, and President of the Treasury Board, Minister Duclos. You can also send letters to Cabinet Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretaries, and any other leaders (Some are suggested below). Email addresses for all MPs, including Ministers are here.


Subject: Please Include Basic Income as a Priority on September 23rd, to address Food Insecurity in Canada

To: Your MP  e.g., (Peterborough-Kawartha); (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock); (Northumberland – Peterborough South)


Dear _____________,

Now is the time for designing and implementing a permanent Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI). The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has helped many pay for food, shelter, childcare, and any outstanding debt. CERB has been an effective short-term solution to some very real problems, for which we thank you, as we do for the newly announced CRB.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has seen increased rates of food insecurity, a compromise in the quality or quantity of food consumed.[i] Food insecurity is also defined as the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints, and is a serious problem linked to poor physical and mental health, premature death, and general material deprivation.[ii] Food insecurity affects Canadians unequally, with a higher prevalence of food insecurity in households with children, low income households, lone-parent led families, those who rent rather than own their housing, and those who identify as Indigenous or Black.2 Food insecurity research supports that income a guaranteed basic income is needed to address this problem.[iii] Establishing a Guaranteed Basic Income as an income floor is a bold solution to help all Canadians meet their basic needs and put food on the table in ways that allow for cultural expression, nutritional adequacy, and human dignity during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. No one should be left behind.

As someone who cares about healthy, sustainable food systems, I support a GBI as a policy to support those who work across all areas of the food system including farmers, farm workers, food processors, food distributors, food artisans, food service workers, restaurant operators, and eaters, many of whom have faced even more challenges and precarious circumstances as a result of the pandemic. Income supports are also needed at this time to stimulate the Canadian Economy and the local food industry as they allow funds to be invested back into the economy. For example, through income supports provided through the Canada Child Benefit every $1 disbursed to Canadian families corresponded with a $1.97 contribution to national GDP through direct, indirect and induced effects.[iv]

To be effective, a Guaranteed Basic Income needs to be available to everyone when needed; subject only to residency and income; sufficient to live in dignity and security; respectful of autonomy; complementary to social services; and reliable.[v] A Guaranteed Basic Income can build on successes of CERB, to effectively support Canadians moving forward during the pandemic, and in resilience during future crises.

As you lead our Nation through this crisis, I am asking you, with the support of your colleagues, to ensure that Canadians can benefit from a Guaranteed Basic Income immediately, and that this be included in the September 23rd Speech from the Throne, announcing government priorities.

Another way to support this, is through support of the Motion 46 Guaranteed Livable Basic Income (submitted by Winnipeg Centre MP Leah Gazan, and seconded by Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly).

Thank you for your dedication to well-being of all Canadians. A guaranteed basic income is an important step forward, as we walk through and beyond the pandemic, together.



Copies to:

Prime Minister. Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Chrystia Freeland
President of the Treasury Board,  Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Hon. Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Health, Hon. Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services, Hon. Marc Miller
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Hon. Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Hon. Dominc LeBlanc
Hon. Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Leader of the Opposition
Yves-Francois Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party
Elizabeth May, Green Party


[i] Statistics Canada (2020). Canadians experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, May 2020. Retrieved from

[ii] Tarasuk V, Mitchell A. (2020). Household food insecurity in Canada, 2017-18. Toronto: Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). Retrieved from

[iii] Tarasuk, Valerie (2017). Implications of a Basic Income Guarantee for Household Food Insecurity. Research Paper 24. Thunder Bay: Northern Policy Institute. Retrieved from

[iv] Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (2019). Economic Contribution of the Canada Child Benefit: A Basic Income Guarantee for Canadian Families with Children. Retrieved from

[v] Coalition Canada (2020). The Basic Income we Want. Retrieved from


PFAN Comments on the Draft OP

PFAN has submitted comments on the City of Peterborough’s Draft Official Plan, click here to view the submission.

Join us for Eat Think Vote – Sept 26, 2019!

Do you care about food? Do you want to make sure food is a vibrant item on the menu during the federal election? Join us for a delicious meal and a community conversation. Using the Peterborough Food Charter as an avenue to structure our discussions, the Peterborough Food Action Network’s and Nourish’s Eat Think Vote event will help us discover what the party platforms say about food, interact with local candidates, and talk about why access to healthy, just and sustainable food is essential to all of us.

Thurs Sept 26th for dinner (5:30pm) & conversation (until 8pm) at Peterborough Public Health, 185 King Street

Register online at or by calling 705.743.3526 ext. 119.

ETV 2019 – Poster – invitation

Letter to Premier Ford re: Bill 60

PFAN recently sent a letter to Premier Ford and Ministers Elliott and MacLeod in support of Bill 60 – Ministry of Community and Social Services Amendment Act. The proposed Act would develop a Social Assistance Research Commission.

Click here to view the letter.

Letter to Minister MacAulay re: Canada’s National Food Policy

At the September 20th PFAN Meeting, members requested that the network write to Minister MacAulay regarding the recent consultations held across the country on the development of a National Food Policy.  That letter was sent on December 5/18 and can be viewed here.

Letter to Minister Monsef re: Basic Income

At the September 20th PFAN Meeting, members requested that the network write to Minister Monsef to appeal to the federal government to take over the Basic Income Guarantee Project.   That letter was sent on October 22/18 and can be viewed here.