At least 14 per cent of people in the Interior worry about their next meal and their ability to buy food.
That statistic from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is one of the reasons the city of Penticton has created a local food food system strategy to combat food insecurity.
The strategy aims to improve access to healthy and safe food and help reduce poverty in the community.
To understand the unique needs of Penticton and the supports currently available, citizens are invited to go to shapeyourcitypenticton.ca to to complete a survey on food insecurity.
The survey will be available until June 16. Anyone not able to complete a survey online can complete a paper version available at the city’s engagement kiosk located at the Penticton Public Library.
City staff will also plan to attend various locations throughout the summer to discuss food insecurity.
Another reason for developing this plan is to provide guidance to the city’s extensive local food systems including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting and marketing.
“We’re fortunate that one-third of our lands are in the agricultural land reserve and with that comes a responsibility to support local agriculture and increase access to local foods,” said the city’s director of development services Blake Laven. “This project will help the city set policy that will ensure a strong and sustainable local food system.”
The project is being completed in cooperation with Interior Health and with funding from their Community Food Action initiative.