Community Conversations

Community Conversations  

The Charlottetown Food Council held a series of virtual Community Conversations About Food to engage residents on their opinions relating to the local food system and to get their feedback on the City's newly created Food Asset Map.
The Food Asset Map was generated by the Food Council to identify the existing food-related strengths and resources in the community. The intent of this map is to help the Council and other organizations better understand the City's existing food system and identify opportunities for improvement. 

These Community Conversations were an opportunity for Charlottetown residents to learn about the  asset map and expand upon it by adding food assets in their area that the Food Council might not be aware of. These conversations focused on specific themes that have emerged from the asset map and gave participants an opportunity to learn about and discuss various aspects of the food system. Each conversation featured interviews with panelists, breakout room discussions on the asset map, and an opportunity to engage with panelists during a question period. See below to learn more and watch the recording of each of the fascinating conversations!

You can learn more about the Food Asset map here.

The sessions were as follows: 

  • Produce, Distribute, Receive
    Date: Monday, November 23, 2020 - 7:00PM
    Panelists: Soleil Hutchinson (Soleil's Farm), Trisha Viaene (Riverview Country Market)
    Description: This conversation focused on the food-supply chain as it pertains to our primary industries. Information sharing and connection between industry members was an overarching goal. Participants at a citizen level left with a better understanding of how food supply chains operate, and that asset maps can help them identify connections within the chain. At an industry level, participants gained an understanding of how they can use the map as a resource especially as COVID-19 impacts them, and how to connect with resources that they might not already know about.

  • Learn & Celebrate
    Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 2:00PM
    Panelists: Tara Reeves (Chef & RHN), Claire Byrne (Community Activist), Melody Swan (Abegweit First Nation Wellness Centre)
    Description: The goal of this conversation was to uplift voices of our BIPOC community members, and understand that providing our own food on this land has historical and racial significance. A discussion was be held focusing on what food systems mean to different groups and how these systems are celebrated. Participants also gained an understanding of how culture, policy, and projects can adversely affect some members of our community.
  • Grow, Build, & Support
    Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 7:00PM
    Panelists: Lisa Fernandes (Food Solutions New England), Ann Wheatley (Cooper Institute)
    Description: This conversation's theme was inspired by the power of neighbourhood level action in building community and a sustainable food system. There are many examples of neighbours supporting each other from the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are also many projects across the country and globe that demonstrate action at the neighbourhood level as a means of establishing food security, as well as contributing assets to local communities. How can individuals in Charlottetown grow, build, and support good ideas as it pertains to food assets? How can we support food security growth on neighbourhood levels, and support our neighbours in doing the same? The goal of this session was to build on assets in our own food system and create more connections and action at our neighbourhood levels, benefitting the whole community. 
  • Buy & Celebrate
    Date: Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 2:00PM
    Panelists: Kent Thompson (Food Island Partnership), Stephanie McQuaid (The Redhead Roamer), Pierre El Hajjar (Head Chef, Carrefour de l'Isle-Saint-Jean)
    Description: This conversation aimed to build on and celebrate assets in our own food system to encourage more citizens to buy and support local and to foster supportive environments for our local food system to thrive.  It also celebrated local food champions (ie. essential workers) and how they contribute to our local economy. Participants discussed how can we build on our assets to implement policies, projects, and campaigns to support local and learned how the Food Asset Map can help us celebrate local!