About Us

Who is the Cranbrook Food Action Committee?

We are people in the community who identify food insecurity as an important health issue in Cranbrook.

We believe there is a need for food security initiatives.

We are comprised of a small steering committee and a larger network of supportive individuals and organizations.

The steering committee is a committed group of individuals and organization representatives including Better Babies, Interior Health Community Nutritionist, Community Action Program for Children, Wildsight and the Canadian Cancer Society.

What is our vision?

Our vision is to have all residents of Cranbrook involved and well-informed on the value and need of a healthy, sustainable, local food supply that is respectfully accessible, safe, healthy and available to all. 

We value the collective spirit that is community, the unique skills and assets of each committee member, food as a core of community, and a shared responsibility to take care of and nurture the land, which in turn provides food for the people.

What have been doing since we started?

2005 
We launched the Cranbrook Community Kitchens initiative at the Salvation Army with the help of a grant from the BC Healthy Living Alliance.

2005-2006 
We developed the Traveling Community Kitchens Kit, using a grant from Interior Health's mini-grant initiative, Community Action for Health.

We developed a community garden project located at Better Babies for their clients

Collaborated with the Salvation Army on a variety of food projects, including a low-cost food store and a Good Food Box program. 

2006
We received Community Food Action Initiative funding to organize the community’s first food security forum – “Working Together: Food Security in Cranbrook.” This was followed by subsequent planning sessions.

2007

We received a grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Diabetes Strategy to complete Cranbrook Food Security and Physical Activity Assessment mapping project, which is complete.

We received a Community Food Action Initiative Grant to hire a coordinator to work with us on community education and raising public awareness.  As part of this work, the Coordinator organized two community Food Film nights and three Gardening Workshops held at the Public Library

2008

The Cranbrook Food Action Committee was invited to be one of five Implementation Partners for Interior Health’s ‘Building Community Food Security through Bits and Bytes’ project.  For this initiative, the CFAC hired a project coordinator to gather information and build relationships to lay the groundwork for a local farmers’ market. This work was very ‘fruitful.’  

CFAC assisted the interested stakeholders in applying for Columbia Basin Trust funds which has supported the formation of a Cranbrook Farmers’ Market Society.  The Society had a tremendously successful Cranbrook Farmer’s Market inaugural season in 2009 and 2010 and the CFAC is pleased to support their ongoing work in our community.

2009

The Cranbrook Food Action Committee received a Community Food Action Initiative Grant to host ‘Connecting the Dots: the Results of the Cranbrook Food Security and Physical Activity Assessment.” 

2010

We did not receive any grants this year and so the Cranbrook Food Action Committee is overseen solely by volunteers.

2011

Funding from Epicure Foundation and Interior Health's Community Food Action Initiative supported the delivery of a series of food preservation workshops to local non-profit organizations, and updated the East Kootenay Local Food Guide.


2012

The dream of a Public Produce Garden in Cranbrook was born through a partnership with City of Cranbrook and funding from the Union of BC Municipalities, Columbia Basin Trust, and Cranbrook Rotary Club. This public, produce-growing garden is always unlocked (although there's a fence to keep the deer out!) and welcomes everyone in the community to come and take part in the life of a local food garden. From seeding to weeding to harvesting, all tasks are considered equal in this communally-managed space. Ground was broken in June and the Potato Pickin' Party in September was the first of many community celebrations held here.


2013

The Public Produce Garden continues to develop and evolve as community members learn and get involved. 

Funding through CBAL/Welcoming Communities provided the opportunity to run the One World Garden workshop series, joining newcomers with the knowledge held by local gardening mentors. 6 workshops, hosted at the Public Produce Garden, from June to November covered the basics of growing food in our high altitude Canadian climate.

With funds from the New Horizons for Seniors program, a timberframe pergola was locally built and constructed onsite at the Public Produce Garden, offering much-needed shade, along with a walkway from the front gate that makes the Garden more accessible.

A partnership with Wildsight Kimberley/Cranbrook was born and collaboration on programming in the garden and kitchen was formalized through securing shared funds from Interior Health's Community Food Action Initiative 3-year Community Capacity Building grant. This longer term vision takes into account the larger food system with increased collaboration between Kimberley and Cranbrook a paramount goal. Goals over this 3 year period include; program development and delivery linking local gardens to the kitchen, the development of a public produce garden model and mid-week Farmer's Market in Kimberley, and Commercial-grade Community Kitchen in Cranbrook.


2014

After the pergola was installed fall 2013, there is now space to develop the next stage of garden beds at the Public Produce Garden. Much has been learned about this communally managed model, and non-verbal communication methods continue to be an important priority. More group planning efforts were undertaken in the spring to ensure a more efficient maintenance and harvest time.

Locally constructed benches will add to the gathering and comfort potential of our pergola, to be installed this summer.

In collaboration with Wildsight, a series of three garden workshops are being offered at the Garden; PLAN May 14, FEED July 16, and EXTEND September 17. Six Kitchen workshops are also planned, highlighting the local harvest; July 30, August 13 & 20, October 1, 8 & 22.

It's a workshop-ing year! We will also be happily hosting Rob Avis, of http://vergepermaculture.ca/ in September - keep your eyes and ears open for more details!

The Commercial-grade Community Kitchen is currently in development, located in a hub of local non-profits and will be available for use by these organizations and the public at large. More news as this exciting project develops!

 

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