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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Food Charter Promoted To Municipal Leaders.

Regional | by Robyn Garvey  

Health Unit officials want Grey Bruce Municipalities to endorse the goal of a sustainable food system.

Municipalities across Grey and Bruce are being encouraged to endorse and embrace the Bruce Grey Food Charter.

Public Health Dietician Laura Needham says the Food Charter represents the collective vision of residents in Grey and Bruce County for a just and sustainable local food system.

She says the Food Charter is a guiding document to assist in the development of policies and programs to promote a healthy and just food system in Grey and Bruce Counties.

For municipalities this could be a simple as creating a community garden and planting fruit bearing trees in parks to promoting the region as a food, agricultural and culinary destination.

She says this also includes promoting sustainable development of agriculture, water, land use policies and practices that support the production of healthy food.

Needham says this includes protecting and enhancing watersheds, wildlife, soil and bio-diversity.

She adds the Food Charter is also about promoting a healthy lifestyle, saying municipalities can do this by creating walk-able and bike-able access to healthy food.

Other ways municipalities can help is by promoting food literacy and encouraging skills building initiatives among youth.

Needham says there is a great need in Grey and Bruce Counties to promote sustainable food security.

Unfortunately she says not everyone in the region can afford to eat right.

In 2015, 26 thousand individuals accessed local food banks in Grey Bruce.

That same year, seventeen percent of Grey Bruce children under the age of 17 were living in poverty.

By taking some simple steps, she says communities can make great strides to help ensure everyone has access to healthy food.

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