Reflections on Woori Maum Communal Table Session 1: Where are we from?

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Eating together as a way of building community in the Korean Canadian diaspora

Written by Elise Yoon

 

There’s an unspoken, familial comfort in being in a room that smells of japchae.

This was the case on Saturday October 21, in a room at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, where each table was set up with Bloor Street’s hodokwaja, kimchi from Busy Bee, and kimbap placed in the middle, not unlike the table set ups you’d find in any given gathering of Korean people. This event, however, was not with my family or a church, which, for me, were the only two contexts for Korean gatherings growing up. There are few spaces as a racialized person you can feel at ease, or at least make you realize you haven’t been at ease in so many spaces until you’re in one surrounded by people who look like you and eat like you.

This was Woori Maum Communal Table: Where are we from?, the first event of a three part series hosted by Woori Maum Korean Canadian Mental Health Association, exploring the Korean Canadian experience by looking at where we came from, where we are now, and where we are going.

Korean and non-Korean people alike gathered together on that Saturday to enjoy a panel discussion on cultural and personal ties to food while sampling japchae, bulgogi, gujeolpan and a persimmon drink called sujeonggwa for dessert. There was no better way to start the immense conversation on Korean Canadian experience, but through what has always brought us together: the act of sharing food.

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The first panelists, Grace Park and Olive Suk, brought us bujimgae and japchae and shared their stories in Korean. Attendees who weren’t Korean as well as children of Korean lineage with partial grasp of the language had the benefit of a written translation. I thought to myself in this moment how rare it was to be at an event that was accessible and relevant to both me and my parents simultaneously. Although they weren’t present, I knew they could be, not only because of language, but because when Olive talked about her struggles as an immigrant parent raising two children in a new country, I thought of my own umma and appa. She spoke of feelings of isolation in being a foreigner in Canada, and how making food in a community kitchen brought her a sense of purpose and community, not to mention a taste of home. As we sampled the japchae, Olive spoke about how it is a Korean party staple. I knew exactly what she meant as I chewed on these slippery noodles, and remembered new year’s dinners of japchae mounds next to a hill of kimbap that you know the women in your family spent all morning rolling.

Food as healing was the theme that emerged of the evening. Panelist Jason Lee spoke about memories of food insecurity as a student youth and the impact this had on both his physical and mental health. He reflected on how learning to make Korean food brought him closer to the culture. Another panelist named Grace Cho (behind community meal project Manimogo) spoke about what makes our parents happy regardless of financial or immigration struggles: knowing their children are well fed. I thought about how my parents show their love by telling me to eat lots, and how, on hard days, the best comfort food is my mother’s doenjang jjigae. Hearing these stories, I realized how food heals us, not only by its nutrients and nostalgia, but also by bringing us together as a community.

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Panelist David Cho noted how the beauty of Korean cuisine is that it’s communal. In a Korean household, you always set the table with a variety of banchan (side dishes) in the middle, and the occasional shared plate of fish picked on with chopsticks by the whole family throughout the meal. It is this act of sharing food that makes this community; cooking for each other and knowing our loved ones are eating the meals that go back generations on a land that has only had us for the 1st or 2nd. It is a way of connecting to our ancestors, however far we may feel from them in the complexities of assimilation and lost language. It is a way of connecting to each other, by eating together and finding home in each other as foreigners.

I believe panelist Olive said it best: even if we don’t talk a lot, through eating together there is community. I thought about how migration splits our tongue, and the dinner tables that mend us back. Meals we ate in silence when there were no words to say in either language. Forgiveness asked for in a helping hand in the kitchen. The love in cooling down a spoonful of jjigae for your child.

As moderator Harriet Kim reminded us at the start of the event, food is a verb. The process of growing, fermenting, eating, sharing food is at the heart of Korean identity and culture. It is this experience of food that makes us. The smell of japchae in a room. The image of our ummas making kimchi in a large steel bowl on the kitchen floor. The soups we all eat as tradition (ddukguk on new year’s day, miyeokguk on birthdays). It would be a lie to say that my cultural ties are as simple as a plate of starch noodles, and that my Koreanness has never caused me pain. But that’s essentially the point. In the hardship and heartbreak of something as nuanced as diasporic identity, food remains so simple.

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As integral food is to our cultural identities, our access differs. I think about the young Korean student living on their own for the first time. I think about the families relying on items available at food banks and the meals at drop-ins. I think about our elders at homes and hospitals. Rising prices of fresh fruits and vegetables. Food deserts, or neighbourhoods without culturally-specific grocery stores. Sometimes, we don’t get to choose the foods we eat. Sometimes, we live isolated from our communities and families. There is no doubt these factors have huge effects on mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, and it is why initiatives like Woori Maum Communal Table exist. Spaces like these are meant to start the conversation on common struggles, to feel less alone, and to empower one another over a shared meal, with food that belongs to us.

 

The following article is also published on LooseLeaf Magazine.

 

Keep updated on Woori Maum’s next event by subscribing to their mailing list at woorimaum.toronto@gmail.com or following on Facebook @woorimaumtoronto.

Event supporters @busybeekimchi and @hodokwaja are also available on Instagram.

Elise Yoon sits on the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council as Education Co-Lead and is a poetry editor at LooseLeaf Magazine. You can email her at eyoon@tyfpc.ca.

Photographs by Bomkee Photography | @bomkeephotography

My Indian Thanksgivings: colonial confusion washed away with gratitude

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To Give Thanks to the land and the people we owe our abundance to

Recently I’ve been reflecting on the fertility and richness of the lands that non-indigenous people to Turtle Island  benefit from, many times without even thinking about how lucky we are.

This richness and abundance we owe to the indigenous caretakers of these lands. As Chef Nephi Craig shares: “Consider giving thanks for ancestral landscapes. All over the coasts and the United States, the most fruitful and agriculturally productive landscapes were once territories of native peoples. Rivers, fisheries, waterways, and other sources of food on land have genetic memories of food, just like we do.”

This richness is not “by chance”, nor is it “luck of the land”, and it is certainly not due to colonial forms of land caretaking. It’s thanks to the indigenous generations who live in relationship with the land- learning from her, honouring her, and understanding that we are part of the web of life, not apart from it.

I mean, this land has been layered with such richness that the ‘grade A’ soil can continue to produce food abundantly even after 50+ years of large scale monocultures of corn, soy, and other produce that the white capitalist rational world thinks we need in order to feed our populations.  Large scale monocultures are so insidious that they deplete what’s supposed to be cyclical. Our earth is built and maintained on cyclical paths, even agriculture and natural food systems. If we harvest mindfully, if we allow the natural vegetation to grow, if we learn about the localized plant foods, if we ask permission, if we model our food systems after nature and forests, we see that the cyclical paths are not disturbed. But when we allow linear thinking to dominate- there is an end, a disconnect.

With every passing year we allow our land to be depleted of her natural, cyclical nutrients, we deplete the richness that our indigenous people cultivate through their various forms of agriculture, ceremony, and teachings.

I’m an Indian female who immigrated to Mississauga with my family when I was five. My Indian heritage is a mix of gujarati and south Indian, I was born in Malawi, Africa, and I am a monolingual English speaker. A not-so-rare story in our immigrant diaspora here in colonial Canada. The fall season is a beautiful time of harvest, colour, stories, and preparation for the darker days. This thanksgiving weekend I had such paradoxical but telling experiences around  thanksgiving, food, family, and gratitude. I experienced two Indian thanksgivings and I want to share them with you. Please indulge me in this cheeky use of “Indian” to refer to both my ancestors and the indigenous people of Turtle Island, specifically the nations of The Dish with One Spoon treaty lands. (link below)

On the Friday of the Thanksgiving weekend I attended a dinner at my mom’s best friend’s place where she and her beautiful Punjabi family were hosting a “Canadian” Thanksgiving dinner.  Everything was perfectly laid out, just how Martha Stewart intended. Conflicting feelings arose for me- on one hand feeling so grateful to share an abundance of beautiful foods like squash, potatoes, corn, turkey with an Indian family (my people), but then feeling the confused tension of what image we as (east) Indian people are trying to create for ourselves and our family celebrating a “white people” holiday with foods that are indigenous to Turtle Island (although these foods are rarely attributed to thousands of years of indigenous cultivation). Also, it seems what was really being celebrated was the chance to drink grand amounts of red wine out of glasses bigger than my face, oh family dynamics!

The foods didn’t really resonate with the Punjabi elders- one nanape was like “where’s the dahl and roti?” haha! And when I asked the (second generation immigrant) adults why we celebrate Thanksgiving, they were quiet and stuttered on their words. Some said because this is what the white pilgrims started when they came to Canada, another one said because it’s a celebration of defeating the native Indians, another said they stole the celebration from native people, and another was like “let’s just enjoy the food”. I’m not sharing this so I can share the answer of what I think is right, I just want to share how confused I think immigrants of colour  are about what their lifestyle needs to look like in order to feel successful, fulfilled, and engaged in our present day Western society. My Indian family and friends, mainly middle-class folks,  believe that to show our success and competency in colonial Canada is to live out the whitened glamorous capitalist instagram dream.

That being said, us Indian families are no strangers to large shared meals with families and friends- being very generous and loving with our food, and honouring our traditional foods is ingrained in us from birth. It just becomes weird and confusing when we start to think we need to be white about it. Also, it feels weird when more of us are so blatantly ignorant about the colonial violence and reality that has been inflicted on indigenous people and the ongoing exploitation of indigenous lands that we live on. In my observation it seems like (my) Indian people have taken time to study and learn all about our white colonizers and oppressors; yet have little to no consciousness for learning about indigenous people and lands that experience ongoing colonial violence. Maybe we think we experience enough so we don’t need to take on other battles/traumas? Maybe we actually are brainwashed into thinking this is white people’s land? Maybe we are so traumatized by our disconnect from ancestral roots/lands that it is difficult for us to acknowledge other’s traumas that we are complicit in? Maybe we don’t want to take responsibility? PSA: If you are an immigrant here, coloured or not, please take time to learn about the indigenous cultures of the land you so comfortably call home.

It’s just so funny to me- how the healthy, cyclical, soulful richness of land, culture, food, is so easily forgotten (or encouraged to forget) in the buzz of the rapid, technological, production-based lifestyles. Like this richness exudes from the land here, in what we know today as the Greater Toronto Area, and the vibrant diverse cultures are an important part of this richness; it is no coincidence that this land is now home to the most culturally diverse population. My personal experiences of connecting to the land and to its indigenous cultures has enabled me to begin to see the truths, the foods, the responsibilities that we all hold if we want to call this place HOME. My hope in this is not to lecture, not to rant, but to shake us from our fast-food, displaced knowledge lull.

To awaken our responsibility to this beautiful land, to learn from the indigenous knowledge holders in respectful ways, to own our identities, and to not be so damn passive to colonial brainwashing.

The following day, after our whitened instagram-worthy thanksgiving dinner, my mother, my twin, my friend and I drove up to the Kanonhstaton land defence camp because my friend was invited by one of the organizers to join their community thanks-giving potluck (where friends and family were welcome to join). My mom and brother hadn’t been to a reserve here in Ontario, and I have only once visited the Mississaugas of the New Credit. I had proposed this to my family as the best way we could show gratitude this harvest season and they joyfully agreed. We arrived there, with 3 OPP cars strategically littered near the road entrance, feeling nervous and hoping we weren’t going to be an intrusion on their community potluck. We had sheppard’s pie and south Indian food to contribute, and as we entered the gates we broke the awkwardness of being strange, new faces by offering the food we brought. The gesture of food brought a smile to one of the woman’s faces and she warmly introduced herself as Jackie, one of the organizers of the potluck. We placed our food among 30 other dishes of lentil curries, roasted squash, wild rice, and more in a humble wooden cooking shed, filled with the abundance to feed a community.

Situated on beautiful rolling grassland with a distant border of deciduous forest, the Kanonhstaton camp was full of action yet rest on this autumn-air day: elders and visitors gathering around the sacred fire and picnic tables, the children playing on the swings and running through the fields adjacent to the fire, the cooking shed right behind the fire, a team of people building a new shelter for storage (fully built in one day because of the harsh winds), and a gathering of tents in the field strategically situated far from the entrance.  The Kanonhstaton camp is a reclamation of land that belongs to the Haudenosaunee confederation, in which the province of Ontario promised to transfer back in 2006 but failed to do so respectfully after the intense land disputes referred to as the Caledonia Standoff. Instead the Ontario government gave the land to the (colonial) elected band council, thus keeping the land under the jurisdiction of the Canadian government, as opposed to giving it to the Haudenosaunee confederation as sovereign land.

So now, the land reclamation camp is a move for sovereignty. Moving away from the colonial state that works tirelessly to disempower indigenous peoples and lands. The goal of the Kanonhstaton camp is to create an eco-village, where they aim to build self-sufficient homes and community spaces so that members of Six Nations are not reliant on the limited and oppressive support our colonial government offers, where they are able to perform their traditional practices, and where they determine what happens with the land.

Please read more on the broken promises from the Canadian government as experienced by Six Nations and the Kanonhstaton Camp (links below).

The community is getting set up for the winter season – it was very moving to see the early stages of the land reclamation camp, knowing the long journey ahead but feeling the power of acting on values and principles. To break the awkwardness of not knowing where to place ourselves among the sacred fire circle, my family and I gravitated to the food as our ice breaker. We gathered healthy servings of the potluck spread, found open spots around the fire, ate, and began making small talk with folks there. The kids, more open to strangers, came and started asking us questions while their family carefully watched. Kids and food provide that similar role of icebreaking and wholesome interaction, they both allow time to ease into a space/community, I felt really grateful for the presence of both.

After some time my brother, my mom, and I started branching off and talking with different folks, gravitating towards the people we felt called to. I took time to read articles and Haudenosaunee statements on the land disputes, broken promises, and calls for sovereignty outlined on the walls of the cook shack. I spoke with Jackie, one of their main organizers, she lives on the land there, and was so excited to host us for the afternoon. She said to me, “I’m so glad you and your family came up here for a visit, you are always welcome, come hang out and have food, if you are able to find support for our work in the city that’s awesome, but mainly come visit. It’s great to see young people caring about this. That’s who’s gonna change things, the young people.”

Other folks I met who were visiting the Kanonhstaton Camp were political asylum seekers from Chile. Folks who had been involved with unjust land disputes from colonial governments in their homeland and the struggle for indigenous land sovereignty. They were happy to be here connecting with people from Six Nations and connecting with us, because after all, like Martha, one of the Chilean women said, “This struggle for culture, land, and connection is all of our struggle, we all have to stay connected and support each other when needed.”

The evening ended on the note of song around fire. My friend brought a beautiful handmade instrument from his homeland Zimbabwe, an orchestra in a fibre glass gourd-like dome. Drums and rattles were reverberating from the hands of the children, my brother, and myself. My friend sang one of the traditional songs from his village, the delicate vocals of the sub-saharan African hymns putting everyone in a trance. Then my mom felt called to singing a traditional hymn in her South Indian mother tongue- Kannada. She sang beautifully as I played the drum beat on a djembe drum. Her voice capturing the characteristic runs and high notes of ghazals. To wrap up Jackie and Eva, who organized the gathering that day, shared a few words. They spoke- giving gratitude to all of us who gathered today to show our support, to the food we shared, and they reminded us of all the hard work and challenges they’ll be facing in the near future as they prepare to build for the upcoming winter months, calling on all of us to help in whatever way we can offer.

A sincere humbling of my heart, to see such a beautiful community working, struggling, and rejoicing towards the health of their land, culture, and past/future generations.

A firm responsibility washing over me, knowing that if I have support to offer to the land and to the indigenous caretakers I must see it through, after all, it is my home too.

A deep sense of connection strengthening me and my family’s relationship to this land.

Two very different Indian Thanksgivings in appearance and approach. Yet they both enacted with the underlying core values of family, identity, community, love, generosity, and gratitude. Leaving me slightly dumbfounded but also incredibly motivated with the idea of our collective coloured strength.

I want to end this by referring to The Dish with One Spoon treaty between the Anishnabee, Mississaugas, Haudanosaunee nations- highlighting their nations’ and any subsequent nations/peoples who live on this land to share in the responsibility of ensuring the dish is never empty; which includes taking care of the land and creatures, being in relationship with the land, and sharing in the spirit of friendship, peace, and respect.

Gratitude calling us to be intentional about our relationship to land, to each other, and to ourselves

With thanks, meherbaani, Nià:wen, miigwech,

Mahin

 

 

 

Sources & Places for Further Knowledge

Land acknowledgement: http://trc.journalism.ryerson.ca/land-acknowledgement/

Dish with One Spoon Treaty: https://prezi.com/3y4nulnuj_r3/know-your-treaty-dish-with-one-spoon/

Chef Nephi Craig: https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/9a8axe/how-to-decolonize-your-thanksgiving-dinner

Kanonhstaton Land Reclamation:

http://theturtleislandnews.com/index.php/2017/08/17/opp-presence-increased-near-six-nations-barricade/

https://tworowtimes.com/news/kanonhstaton-10-years-after/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLgUSkjdP88

TYFPC presents: What’s Your Recipe for A Better Food System?

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When: Thursday, September 28th, 2017, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: TBA, University of Toronto, 40 Willcocks St, Toronto, ON M5S

What food issues matter to you? What are the biggest challenges and barriers our communities are facing with food? What food stories do you want heard? We want to hear from you!

The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council in partnership with FoodShare Toronto, Toronto Food Policy Council and New College, Toronto will be hosting a community engagement session to hear about YOUR interests, opinions and ideas about what should go into Canada’s first ever National Food Policy!

Event Format:
To help highlight the diverse food issues in our communities, the engagement session will feature 5 roundtables throughout the evening with designated facilitators who will bring their own stories and experience to the table. The roundtables will focus on: community food work, indigenous food sovereignty, food policy, youth voices and farmer experiences.

Each table will have a recorder, who will be taking note of major ideas and direct quotes from participants at each table. These notes will then be compiled into a summary which will be submitted to Food Secure Canada to be a part of a report that will be shared publically to contribute directly to a Food Policy for Canada.

Evening Schedule:
6:30-7:00pm – Introductions: TYFPC, Partners and Roundtable Facilitators and Dinner
7:00-8:00pm – Attendees will have the opportunity to visit up to 3 roundtables for 20 mins each:
– Roundtable #1- Community Food Work – Facilitator: TBA
– Roundtable #2 – Indigenous Food Sovereignty – Facilitator: TBA
– Roundtable #3 – Food Policy – Facilitator: TBA
– Roundtable #4 – Youth Voices – Facilitator: TBA
– Roundtable #5 – Farmer Experiences – Facilitator: TBA
8:00-8:30pm – Wrap-up and Closing Remarks

There will be a light meal served.

More updates to come!

Want to know more about community engagement sessions that are taking place across Canada? Read below and visit here:https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/food-policy.html

Food matters. Canadians make choices every day about food that directly impacts their health, environment, and communities. The Government of Canada is conducting consultations to get input from Canadians to help shape A Food Policy for Canada (link is external)that will cover the entire food system, from production to consumption to compost.

Food Secure Canada (FSC) members across Canada are hosting community engagement events called What’s Your Recipe for a Better Food System? towards the food policy consultations.

We want to bring a diverse set of voices to the table–community members with lived experiences of food insecurity, sustainable agriculture and fisheries leaders, local food business owners, and innovative community food programmers, among others–to talk about how we can build a healthier, more just, sustainable, and economically viable food system for all Canadians.

From these events, we will provide government with input and policy proposals from a range of regional food systems and perspectives across Canada to inform A Food Policy for Canada.

**ACCESSIBILITY**
TYFPC strives to create spaces that are accessible and promote anti-oppression. This space and this event are open to all, and discrimination or harrassment based on race, class, citizenship, gender, sexuality, ability, culture, age, or any others will not be tolerated.

If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility, anti-oppression, or accommodations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

TYFPC is looking for new members!

The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council is looking for new members!

Join Us!

APPLICATIONS FORMS here: TYFPC-Application-Form- 2017

Call out for new TYFPC Members!

At the close of an incredible year, the TYFPC is now looking for up to 6 new council members to join our team for 2017-2018!

We are a Toronto-based social organization that seeks to engage and mobilize youth to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system for all. We do this by building community, raising awareness, and advocating for policy change. We also organize great events… with amazing food!

If you are an enthusiastic and motivated youth (age 16-30) who is interested in activating positive change within Ontario’s food system, consider applying your strengths and skills to one of the available positions below:

Available Positions (up to 6):

Operations Lead

Communications Lead

Education Co-Lead (2)

Advocacy Co-Lead (2)

Application Process:

Interested candidates should first, view the TYFPC Position Descriptions below (and attached as a PDF in links below). Next, fill out the TYFPC-Application-Form- 2017 and email their application to applications@tyfpc.ca along with an up-to-date resume, with their position of interest included in the Subject Line. The submission deadline is Monday July 31, 2017 at 9:00 AM EST.

Please be sure to read the position description(s) you are applying for thoroughly for further instructions. All questions pertaining to applications can be directed to applications@tyfpc.ca.

We look forward to hearing from you!

TYFPC Position Descriptions

Advocacy Committee Co-Lead (2)

The Advocacy Committee provides leadership in the following areas:

  • Advocacy: offer a youth perspective on food issues while representing the TYFPC at meetings, events, public deputations, and other speaking opportunities.
  • Outreach: develop and lead discussions on food in collaboration with other advocacy organizations. Identify opportunities to connect the TYFPC’s advocacy work with pressing problems affecting the food system or youth more generally.
  • Research: engage the TYFPC network in local food policy issues, for example by creating policy briefs to inform the TFPC’s work, or bringing attention to specific food issues by leading workshops, supporting social movements, and leading social media campaigns.
  • The Council will also facilitate opportunities for community and additional committee members to write “advocacy spotlights” and guest blog posts through our communication channels in coordination with our communications team.
  • Co-coordinate one community meeting with other council members.
  • Sit on at least one working group (fundraising, anti-oppression, etc.) within the council.

An ideal candidate would:

  • Be excited about municipal food policy and/or food justice issues.
  • Enjoy making presentations and facilitating group discussions.
  • Take initiative on projects and be able to manage their time.
  • Be comfortable in both a research and advocacy capacity.
  • Be interested in generating content for TYFPC’s website and social media.
  • Experience or interest in designing resources and tools for youth., including but not limited to: webinars, instruction kits, informational videos

Other requirements:

  • All applicants selected for council positions must attend a mandatory 2-day strategic planning retreat in September.
  • All council members are required to attend monthly council, committee and community meetings on the first Monday of each month.
  • All council members are also required to help coordinate one community meeting, which will  place the first Monday of each month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 31, 2017, 9:00 AM.
  • Submission email subject line: ‘Advocacy Committee Application – Your Name’.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in early August.

The TYFPC welcomes applications from all interested food passionate youth, regardless of experience or background, between the ages of 16 and 30. We encourage applications from diverse communities, including Indigenous, racialized, disabled, queer, and trans* youth. We welcome both lived and academic experience, and encourage applicants to note this in their application.

Education Committee Co-Lead (2)

The Education Committee Co-Lead is responsible for the following:

  • Editing the TYFPC’s youth journals: Gathering, our peer-reviewed academic journal,  and Melange, our creative arts journal:
    • Managing the selection process, creating calls for submissions to both journals and answering questions from potential contributors
    • Reviewing submissions and meeting with council members during that process.
    • Coordinating peer review by contacting reviewers and staying in contact throughout editing process.
    • Working with graphic designer in creating layout for journals (having graphic design skills and software is a plus but isn’t necessary).
    • Managing and periodically reviewing internal and external documentation (e.g. forms and website) for journal process
    • Organizing a ‘launch’ event for journal for contributors, peer reviewers and public.
    • Finding sponsorship opportunities to support publication costs.
  • Facilitating workshops
    • Gathering resources for education toolkit and updating workshop content for participatory activities.
    • Contacting potential schools and/or community groups and coordinating materials for workshops (e.g. printing).
    • Facilitate groups in workshops.
    • Liaise with volunteers (if necessary) and co-facilitators in workshops.
  • Co-coordinate one community meeting with other council members.
  • Sit on at least one working group (fundraising, anti-oppression, etc.) within the council.

A person in this role should:

  • Have strong organizational capabilities.
  • Be self-motivated.
  • Be comfortable speaking and reaching out to the public (or want to practice public speaking and facilitation skills).
  • Be attentive to detail (e.g. editing).
  • Experience using WordPress and/or graphic design (e.g. Photoshop, InDesign) for journal layout is an asset .

Other requirements:

  • All applicants selected for council positions must attend a mandatory 2 day strategic planning retreat in September.
  • All council members are required to attend monthly council, committee and community meetings the first Monday of each month.
  • All council are also required to help coordinate one community meeting, which will  place the first Monday of each month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 31, 2017, 9:00AM.
  • Submission Email Subject Line: ‘Education Committee Application – Your Name’.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in early August.

The TYFPC welcomes applications from all interested food passionate youth, regardless of experience or background, between the ages of 16 and 30. We encourage applications from diverse communities, including Indigenous, racialized, disabled, queer, and trans* youth. We welcome all experiences (i.e. lived and academic), and encourage applicants to note this in their application.

Operations Lead (1)

The Operations Lead is responsible for the following:

  • Administering the TYFPC website (WordPress platform), Google group, Google Drive, Dropbox, and social media accounts
  • Maintaining and responding to the general TYFPC email account (info@tyfpc.ca); organizing the logistics & administration of each monthly meeting; improving Council processes and making strategic recommendations to the TYPFC Executive and broader council.
  • Researching, updating and maintaining the Events Calendar.
  • Developing record processes and keep detailed financial records.
  • Maintain the meeting minutes and archiving of TYFPC google working documents and files.
  • Co-coordinate one community meeting with other council members.
  • Sit on at least one working group (fundraising, anti-oppression, etc.) within the council.

A person in this role should:

  • Have strong organizational and time-management capabilities.
  • Have strong communication skills.
  • Have experience with or interest in learning basic financial record keeping.
  • Be self-motivated to meet deadlines.
  • Be comfortable with web platforms (e.g. WordPress, administering Google, Mailchimp and Dropbox).
  • Design skills and other web experience an asset.

Other requirements:

  • All applicants selected for council positions must attend a mandatory 2 day strategic planning retreat in September.
  • All council members are required to attend monthly council,  and committee and community meetings the first Monday of each month.
  • Supporting executive committee strategic decision making processes.
  • All council are also required to help coordinate one community meeting, which take place the first Monday of alternating months.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 31, 2017, 9:00 AM.
  • Submission Email Subject Line: ‘Operations Application –Your Name’.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in early August..

The TYFPC welcomes applications from all interested food passionate youth, regardless of experience or background, between the ages of 16 and 30. We encourage applications from diverse communities, including Indigenous, racialized, disabled, queer, and trans* youth. We welcome all experiences (i.e. lived and academic), and encourage applicants to note this in their application.

Communications Lead (1)

The Communication lead is responsible for the following:

  • Finding and sharing content for our social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Promoting community events relevant to the TYFPC community.
  • Creating, collecting, and curating content for our bi-monthly email newsletter.
  • Work with the networking committee to find and connect with complementary organizations and businesses online.
  • Monitor social media and web traffic (Google Analytics).
  • Write and encourage other council members to write blog entries for our website on a monthly basis.
  • Support the development of communications materials and presentations for TYFPC speaking events and presentations.
  • Act as support for any technical issues council and community experience using our website, Google groups, email, or related channels.
  • Co-coordinate one community meeting with other council members.
  • Sit on at least one working group (fundraising, anti-oppression, etc.) within the council.

A person in this role should:

  • Be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google apps, WordPress, & Mailchimp.
  • Be self-motivated.
  • Comfortable with basic HTML/CSS or more.
  • Connected with the local food community online (or interested in it).
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.
  • Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator or other design applications would be an asset.

.Other requirements:

  • Supporting the communications work and storytelling for 2016-2017 grant activities and TYFPC collaboration projects.
  • All applicants selected for council positions must attend a mandatory 2 day strategic planning retreat in September.
  • All council members are required to attend monthly council, and committee and community meetings the first Monday of each month.
  • Supporting executive committee strategic decision making processes.
  • All council are also required to help coordinate one community meeting, which will  place the first Monday of each month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 15, 2017, 11:59 PM.
  • Submission Email Subject Line: ‘Communications Application –Your Name’.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in July.

The TYFPC welcomes applications from all interested food passionate youth, regardless of experience or background, between the ages of 16 and 30. We encourage applications from diverse communities, including Indigenous, racialized, disabled, queer, and trans* youth. We welcome all experiences (i.e. lived and academic), and encourage applicants to note this in their application.

Table Talk: Stories of Food, Culture & Identity — Monday, April 3rd, 6-8pm

table talk poster_April 3rd


–an evening exploring food and culture through the storytelling of diaspora communities.

The event will include interactive activities and a story-telling circle.
Participants will engage in a cooking demonstration with Namliyeh, an emerging Toronto-based caterer and maker of Syrian preserved foods, who will share delicious eggplant makdous and labneh.
We will also create a collective community cookbook
–if possible, please bring a recipe that is meaningful to you.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect through personal food stories,
and enjoy a light meal reflective of the evening’s themes.

Table Talk: Stories of Food, Culture & Identity
Monday, April 3rd from 6-8pm
Access Point on Danforth
3079 Danforth Avenue (near Victoria Park Subway Station)

Check the facebook event for sneak peak on storytellers leading up to the event!
*Special thanks to Access Alliance for hosting*