On Wednesday February 26th, 2014 Toronto Youth Food Policy Council members Anne Siu and Jessica Reeve participated in a workshop run in partnership with Lisa Kates and Darcy Higgins from Food Forward’s Building Roots program at the Oriole Community Centre near Don Mills and Sheppard. The workshop provided a great platform for the TYFPC to introduce our Advocacy Toolkit for the first time and to build on those tools by looking at ways t0 get involved and to advocate for food to be incorporated into development plans, and into municipal policies in general.
The participants in this workshop came from a wide variety of backgrounds and had differing levels of political engagement. They all expressed an interest in pushing this advocacy forward and provided helpful feedback on the advocacy tools that will soon be available on the TYFPC website.
These tools include how to communicate with your City Councillor, how to write to City officials, and how to present effective public deputations. It is important to note that this toolkit remains a work in progress and we hope to incorporate feedback, as well as additional tools, as demand for these tools is generated. Stay tuned for more toolkit posts!
Building Roots has also developed a toolkit that guides you through the development process and provides tips on how to get involved. Building Roots recently held a symposium in Regent Park to discuss how urban agriculture can be facilitated through development projects and how developments can be beneficial to the community. Darcy and Lisa took us through this process and as a group we discussed how we can advoacte for food projects in the neighbourhood surrounding Don Mills and Sheppard and the kinds of projects that have already taken root there.
Participants concluded the workshop by touring Oriole Food Space, which is a program run through North York Harvest Food Bank, and filling up on delicious wraps and muffins provided by local start-up caterer Tahseen.
If you have questions about the TYFPC Advocacy Toolkit please contact Anne Siu at firstname.lastname@example.org.