Take Action

Whether you are an eater, a decision maker, a farmer, a local business or a workplace, we all have an important role to play in our local food system.  Consider signing our local food charter and commit to actions that will support the vision of our local food system.

Here are some examples of actions you can take whether you are an “eater”, a farmer, a decision maker, or a local business owner.  Share other ideas with us when you sign the food charter.

For Eaters/Citizens – What can I do? 

  • Buy and shop local!
  • Grow your own food.
  • Plan meals and snacks to include more locally grown vegetables and fruit every day.
  • Support healthy, local food choices in schools child care centres, workplaces, recreation settings and community spaces.
  • Learn more about the issues that impact food insecurity.
  • Advocate for change. Talk to local politicians about their role in access to healthy, local food for all.
  • Help new farmers access land.
  • Support equal access to good food by donating locally grown, healthy food to food banks and meal programs.
  • Participate in local food festivals and events to celebrate the diversity of food.
  • Share recipes and gardening tips.
  • Join a community garden.
  • Take time to make and enjoy homemade meals with your family and friends more often.
  • Get to know and learn from local farmers by shopping at farm gates of farmers’ markets.
  • Take cooking, canning and preserving classes/workshops.
  • Involve children and youth in growing and preparing food.
  • Volunteer or donate to your local school’s Food For Kids Peterborough and County Student Nutrition Program.
  • Learn what’s in season by shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Buy locally grown food directly from producers, local stores & restaurants that source local food.
  • Ask for more local products at your favourite restaurants and stores.
  • Eat seasonally when possible (e.g. Ontario strawberries in July).
  • Reduce wasted food by using what you buy. Reduce, compost and recycle.
  • Conserve water. Use a rain barrel to collect water for your garden.
  • Advocate for, and support organizations, that promote preservation of local waters and farmland.

For Farmers/Growers/People who Work to Feed Others – What Can We Do?  

  • Produce healthy food to impact our community’s health.
  • Donate excess produce to a community or school food programs.
  • Participate in food events and celebrations.
  • Increase public understanding and awareness of farming through social media and farm tours. Share your expertise with new farmers and the public.
  • Promote how your farm is an important part of the local food system.
  • Work with local champions to increase consumer and community access to local products.
  • Work towards more sustainable practices on-farm.
  • Learn about organizations and programs that support stewardship
  • Create an Environmental Farm Plan to increase your environmental awareness and set goals that relate to your farm.

For Policy and Decisions Makers/Municipal Politicians – What Can We Do?  

  • Support development of an action based food strategy/master plan for food and agriculture for City and County of Peterborough.
  • Establish guidelines for high quality, healthy food.
  • Create a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Support active transportation (bike lanes, trails, bike racks, etc.) as a means of accessing healthy food.
  • Recognize food as a basic human right.
  • Support and participate in collaborations for a sustainable local food system.
  • Advocate for income support programs such as Basic Income and commit to being a living wage employer.
  • Promote and support regional foods, farmers, local businesses & agri-tourism through policies and incentives.
  • Include food systems education in school curricula.
  • Attend educational and networking events related to the local food system
  • Consult the agricultural and food community in planning processes.
  • Develop/set local food procurement targets for municipal-run facilities and programs.
  • Support infrastructure needs locally for year-round storage & processing of locally grown foods (i.e. local food hub).
  • Support zoning, by-laws and regulations that support farmers and growers selling local food.
  • Implement planning policies that preserve local farmland.
  • Promote and support community garden projects and local neighbourhood markets.
  • Facilitate the diversion of food waste from the municipal garbage stream (e.g., promote home and business composting or the implementation of a municipal organic waste program).

For Businesses/Institutions/Workplaces – What Can We Do?

  • Commit publicly to local food purchasing targets.
  • Provide healthy, affordable choices to customers.
  • Start a food garden at your workplace.  Gardens support employees’ physical and mental health.
  • Develop nutrition policies that encourage workplace healthy eating and support local food.
  • Become a Living Wage employer.
  • Advocate for a basic income guarantee so that everyone can afford to eat a healthy diet.
  • Participate in and sponsor local food events and celebrations.
  • Make healthy and local food information available to customers.
  • Prioritize local farmers and food businesses that support our local food system.
  • Use more local and seasonal food at events, meetings and on menus.
  • Reduce food miles by sourcing local products.
  • Reduce wasted food. Order only what is needed for meetings.
  • Institute a composting program at your workplace.