Learning Opportunities

Webinars and live-streaming conference presentations have become a great way to hear renowned specialists in the area of food insecurity and food systems.  Here is a link to some recent presentations or webinars that will be of interest to Peterborough Food Action Network members.  Please share with others you think may be interested.

1.PROOF Conference

PROOF – Food Insecurity Policy Research hosted a national conference, Advancing Food Insecurity Research in Canada at the University of Toronto on November 17 and 18, 2016.  Links to the plenary presentations and copies of slides are available here.

How is Food Insecurity Defined and Socially Constructed as a Policy Problem in Canada? 

Presenters: Herb Emery (University of New Brunswick), Craig Gundersen (University of Illinois), Catherine Mah (Memorial University), Lynn McIntyre (University of Calgary), Valerie Tarasuk (University of Toronto)

Insights from Other Countries

Presenters: Colleen Heflin (University of Missouri), Rachel Loopstra (University of Oxford), James Ziliak (University of Kentucky)

The Social Construction of Food Insecurity

Presenters: Elizabeth Dowler (University of Warwick), Elaine Power (Queen’s University), Janet Poppendieck (City University of New York)

Using Research to Inform Advocacy

Presenters: Diana Bronson (Food Secure Canada), Mary Ellen Prange (Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH), Lauren Goodman (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK))

Future Research Directions

Discussants: Lynn McInytre (University of Calgary), Elaine Power (Queen’s University), Valerie Tarasuk (University of Toronto)

2 a) Food Insecurity Measurement in Canada: Interpreting the Statistics

A webinar was hosted by the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada on February 8, 2017 entitled Food Insecurity Measurement in Canada: Interpreting the Statistics.

Watch the webinar: Food Insecurity Measurement in Canada: Interpreting the Statistics

Presenters:  Valerie Tarasuk, PhD – Professor at University of Toronto and principal investigator of PROOF, Suzanne Galesloot, MSA, RD – Public Health Nutrition Provincial Lead at Alberta Health Services and Tracy Woloshyn, RD – Public Health Nutritionist at York Region Public Health

2 b) Food Insecurity Measurement in Canada:  Who is vulnerable to household food insecurity and what does this mean for policy and practice?

This second webinar, hosted by the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada on April 13, 2017 looked more closely at what drives vulnerability to household food insecurity in Canada.

Watch the webinar: Who is vulnerable to household fod insecurity: What it means for policy and practice

Presenters:   Valerie Tarasuk, PhD – Professor at University of Toronto and principal investigator of PROOF, Lynn McIntyre MD – Professor Emerita at University of Calgary and PROOF investigator, Pat Vanderkooy, RD – Public Affairs Manager, Dietitians of Canada.

2 c) How does food insecurity relate to health and what are the implications for health care providers?
This 3rd webinar, hosted by the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada on May 18, 2017, examined evidence of the impact of food insecurity on individuals’ mental and physical health and the financial burden food insecurity poses for our healthcare system.
Presenters:  Presenters:   Valerie Tarasuk, PhD – Professor at University of Toronto and principal investigator of PROOF, Lynn McIntyre MD – Professor Emerita at University of Calgary and PROOF investigator, Carlota Basualdo-Hammond, MSc, MPH, RD – Executive Director, Nutrition Services, Alberta Health Services.

3.Nourishing Communities  – Centre for Sustainable Food Systems Webinar Series

Social and Informal Economy of Food:  Eastern Ontario Webinar on March 1, 2017

Presentations on DIG – Durham Integrated Growers for  a Sustainable Community (featuring PFAN member Mary Anne Martin!), Black Duck Wild Rice (James Whetung of Curve Lake First Nation and Paula Anderson, PhD student in Indigenous Studies, Trent University), Hidden Harvest, Ottawa,  and Ontario East Alternative Land Use Services.

Social and Informal Economy of Food – Northwestern Ontario on March 14, 2017

Presentation topics:  Willow Springs Creative Centre, Foraging as a Social Economy in Northern Ontario: A Case Study of Aroland First Nation, Arthur Schupp Wild Foods, Nipigon annual blueberry festival, and the Algoma Highlands Blueberry Farm, Bearskin Lake First Nation, Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op

Social and Informal Economy of Food – Atlantic Canada and Northwest Territories  on March 15, 2017

Presentations topics: Seed Saving in Atlantic Canada (Seeds of Diversity and partner organizations), FarmWorks Investment Co-op,  JustUs! Centre for Small Farms, Kakisa, NT

4.Strengthening Ontario’s Food System:  A Collaborative Approach

Hosted by the Ontario Public Health Association and Nutrition Resource Centre on March 9, 2017

Strengthening Ontario’s Food system: A Collaborative Approach

5.Panel Discussion at Ryerson University  on April 6, 2017

Food Banks:  What do they do now?  What can they in the near future?  What can’t they do?  What can we do?

Welcome by Dr. Fiona Yeudall, Ryerson University and chaired by  Councillor Joe Mihevc, Chair, Toronto Board of Health

Guest Panelists:

  • Andy Fisher, Author of the controversial new book from MIT Press: Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups
  • Valerie Tarasuk, Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Principal Investigator, PROOF
  • Cecilia Rocha, Director, Ryerson School of Nutrition
  • Ryan Noble, Executive Director, North York Harvest Food Bank
  • Merryn Maynard, Program Coordinator, Meal Exchange

Panel Discussion at Ryerson University on April 6, 2017

6.  Taking Action on the Root Causes of Food Insecurity:  Inadequate Income and Food Insecurity

This webinar was hosted by the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health on April 18, 2017.

Food insecurity has physical, social, and mental health consequences. The level of household food insecurity is not only an indicator of how well adults and children are doing economically, it is also a social determinant of health equity. As the root cause of food insecurity is poverty, it would seem that the solutions would be income-focused. Yet public health practice is often focused on food skills and charity program models, which provide food access and support but do not address the material deprivation that creates food insecurity.  This webinar included the role of public health in social justice issues, what public health programs that address the root causes of food insecurity can look like, the role public health can play in calculating a basic income rate and advocating for income-based policy change and examples of public health working in partnership with community organizations to identify and address risk factors for food insecurity in vulnerable neighborhoods.

Presenters included: Tracy Woloshyn, Public Health Dietitian, York Region Public Health Services (Ontario),  Christine Johnson, Health Equity Lead, Nova Scotia Health Authority and Meghan Martin, Community Health Specialist, Fraser Health Authority (British Columbia)

Watch the webinar: Taking action on the root cause: Inadequate income & food insecurity