Submissions now open for Mélange Creative Arts Journal!

The TYFPC is officially seeking submissions for our second issue of Mélange Creative Arts Journal! 

We are currently seeking submissions by youth (30 and under). Send in your photography, art, poetry, creative writing, recipes, and all other creative food projects welcome!

Submission Guidelines:
Visual media submissions are to be no larger than 8.5”/11” and with the resolution of 300dpi. Written submissions are to be no longer than 1000 words.

Submission deadline: February 28, 2017

Please send your submissions to journal@tyfpc.ca with “Melange 2017 Submission” in the subject line.

melangecall2

Endorsement for Justicia for Migrant Workers’ “Harvesting Freedom” Campaign

The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council (TYFPC) is pleased to endorse the 2016 Harvesting Freedom campaign. This endorsement is to support the demand that the Canadian government allow migrant farm workers in Canada to access full immigration status upon arrival.

This year (2016) marks the 50th anniversary of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers program, a labour program that has brought thousands of Caribbean and Mexican migrant farm workers to toil in fields across the country. The hard work and labour of these workers produces the majority of “local” food grown in Canada, and poses a number of ethical concerns with respect to human rights.

A major issue is that migrant workers are tied to their employer, have no access to residency status, and therefore must return home after their contract. They face little to no worker protection and face tremendous barriers to accessing health care. Migrant workers also suffer workplace harassment and experience differential treatment compared to Canadian residents.

Being tied to an employer creates vulnerable working and living conditions that further expose migrant farm workers to dangerous and precarious conditions. Whether it’s workplace deaths such as Ned Livingston Peart, a Jamaican migrant worker killed in a workplace accident, to the forced DNA sweep of 100 Caribbean migrant workers near London, migrant workers are subjected to differential treatment that must end immediately.

This year, Justicia for Migrant Workers, migrant workers and allies are organizing to demand that the Canadian government provide Permanent Immigration Status for all migrant workers. The government has no excuse to deny this residency status as they have already done so for immigrants, including recent Syrian refugees. As the TYFPC we endorse this movement and support Justicia for Migrant Workers’ continued call to justice.

In solidarity,
The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council

“Youth at the Table” at the Food Secure Canada’s 9th Assembly

By: Arielle Vetro (TYFPC Placement Student)

After attending the “Youth at the Table” networking event at the Food Secure Canada’s 9th Assembly, I’m left with overwhelming feelings of excitement and motivation. First off, the venue proved to be very fitting, as the Toronto City Hall council chambers felt symbolic to our purpose for gathering that evening; to make space for youth in policy decision-making. After speaking with attendees throughout the evening, I was better able to understand why it is so crucial that youth are involved in food politics. In particular, many participants I spoke to expressed that when they don’t see their own identities being represented in food policy decision-making bodies, they felt that their voices were not valid and thus their involvement was not encouraged. However, food policy is and should be important to youth, as we will be the ones to experience the increasingly harmful consequences of our corporatized food system in the future. We as youth need to be involved in addressing these issues within our food system by bringing our energy, motivation and innovation, however in order to do so we must have the space and opportunities to have our voices heard.

One way this could be achieved is through encouraging youth to share their ideas and opinions via youth-led journals and school newspapers. Other avenues can be through supporting youth participation in local community efforts like gardens and waste management initiatives. Personally, I am particularly passionate about the idea of engaging youth through community-development initiatives, such as community gardens; as they can act as a ]way to educate youth about the food system and can empower youth by acknowledging that them and their contributions are valuable and meaningful.

Achieving these goals may however be easier said than done. I believe one of the most significant barriers in youth participation is lack of knowledge. I speak from personal experience when I say that until recently I was unaware of many of the major problems of our food system, and was likewise unaware of the fact that I, as someone with no expertise, could become directly involved in challenging the current food system. I think the first step towards changing this is to reach out to youth in a direct way, which information can be provided about relevant issues, current initiatives and the organizations attempting to tackle these problems. While a direct, in-person approach may be time-consuming, I think that it would be truly effective towards engaging and mobilizing youth to create meaningful changes in our food system.

Photo by Juneeja V
Photo by Juneeja V
Photo by Laine Young
Photo by Laine Young

Fall Retreat and Orientation Kicks-Off 2016-2017 Council Year!

On Friday, September 9th, 2016, the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council regrouped for an orientation retreat at Kimbercote Lodge in Grey Highlands, Ontario. The retreat was a creative opportunity for new and returning members of the council to plan, set goals and harmonizes ideas for an exciting new year. Kimbercote Lodge is an old farmstead which sits along the Bruce trail that has recently been taken over by Elephant Thoughts, a non-profit educational organization that focuses on engaging marginalized youth through experiential education. The site was the perfect setting for the TYFPC retreat and we can’t thank them enough for hosting us!

We began the weekend by sharing a meal and getting to know each other. We have a rule: no council business at meal-times. This is time for us to enjoy each other’s company.  Council business really began Saturday morning where we dove into the TYFPC’s history, policies and operations and learned about the unique and dynamic responsibilities of the executive, education, advocacy, and fundraising and networking committees. As the weekend unfolded council members continued to absorb and exchange information.

During a lengthy strategic planning session, the council identified the main topics we would be focusing our energy on for the year. These broad themes will form the starting point for community events, but will take further shape as council members develop the ideas further and partner with local organizations and speakers who will further influence the shape of the event. A peak at the themes we will be tackling include:

  • creating space for youth in food policy at the Food Secure Canada conference
  • uncovering hidden labor and migrant labor in the food service and food production industry
  • connecting youth to food careers
  • centering experiences of diaspora and indigenous communities through food storytelling
  • exploring the social and healing benefits of urban agriculture
  • uniting urban and rural food issues
  • delving into the frontier of biotechnology and food
  • and more! Have ideas? Let us know at info@tyfpc.ca!

Focusing our time and energy on planning and preparing the TYFPC’s upcoming year projects and collaborations was our first priority but we also took some time to learn and connect with one another through walks around Kimbercote’s lush grounds, combining culinary talents in the kitchen (planning and preparing meals in groups), and sharing stories and savory meals around the beautiful harvest table.

We ended the weekend with a SWOT activity (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to help us recognize our strengths as a group and help us prepare for potential shortcomings. It soon became clear that one of our strongest assets would be in our diverse backgrounds, our unique experiences with food and our genuine passion to create an inclusive and sustainable food system.

The TYFPC is in the process of planning a number of exciting workshops, panels and events for the year which will strive to create spaces for youth to learn and meaningfully engage in the food system. We’ll start with our first community event being held at Food Secure Canada this [insert date] and time. To keep on top of upcoming TYFPC event opportunities to volunteer or contribute to council activities please keep a lookout for postings on our Facebook and Twitter, or better yet, sign up for our newsletter!

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10 out of 13 of the new TYFPC Council!
Sharing a communal meal of homemade crepes
Sharing a communal meal of homemade crepes. YUM.
Re-energizing our brains an bodies with some yoga
Re-energizing our brains and bodies with some break time yoga.
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Council members hard at work!

Call out for new TYFPC members for 2016 – 2017!

UPDATED 14/07/16: The deadline for applications has been extended to July 22, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST.

UPDATED 29/06/16: A new position description has been added for Vice-Chair and the deadline for applications has been extended to July 15, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST.

 

At the close of an incredible year, the TYFPC is now looking for eight (8) new council members to join our team for 2016-2017!

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 throw great potlucks and picnics!

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 (8):

Advocacy Committee Co-Lead (1)

Education Committee Co-Lead (2)

Networking & Fundraising Committee Co-Lead (2)

Communications Lead (1)

Vice Chair (1)

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 and email applications@tyfpc.ca the completed form along with an up-to-date resume. The submission deadline is Friday July 22, 2016 at 11:59 PM 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!
2016 Advocacy Committe Co-Lead
2016-Communications-Application
2016-Education-Application
2016-Networking-Application


TYFPC Position Descriptions

Advocacy Committee Co-Lead (1)

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 other advocacy, research and 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.
  • Co-coordinate one community meeting with other council members.
  • 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.

A person in this role should:

  • 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.

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 take place the first Monday of every second month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 22, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.
  • Submission email subject line: ‘Advocacy Committee 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 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.
    • 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.
  • 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).
    • Facilitating groups in workshops.
    • Liaising with volunteers (if necessary) and co-facilitators in workshops.

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).
  • Have experience using WordPress and/or graphic design (e.g. Photoshop) 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 take place the first Monday of every second month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 22, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.
  • Submission Email Subject Line: ‘Education Committee 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.

Networking & Fundraising Committee Co-Lead (2)

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

  • Collaboration: Building partnerships with like-minded youth and food organizations in the city, and identifying and following through on projects that meet our mandate.
  • Promotions and Events: Attending a variety of community events across the city to meet with other groups and raise the profile of the TYFPC.
  • Grant-writing: Finding relevant grants and taking the lead on writing proposals.
  • Organization: Maintaining a record of communications and outreach efforts, and documenting organizational partnerships and network connections.
  • Co-coordinating one community meeting with other council members.

A person in this role should:

  • Love talking to new people.
  • Have a keen interest in local food initiatives.
  • Have strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Have experience writing grants and strong written communication skills.
  • Be friendly, outgoing, and approachable.
  • Have a strong interest in keeping up-to-date on Toronto food related events and activities.

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.
  • All council are also required to help coordinate one community meeting, which will take place the first Monday of every second month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 22, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.
  • Submission Email Subject Line: ‘Network Committee 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.

Communications Lead (1)

The Communications 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.
  • Working with the networking committee to find and connect with complementary organizations and businesses online.
  • Monitoring social media and web traffic (Google Analytics).
  • Writing and encouraging other council members to write blog entries for our website on a monthly basis.
  • Supporting the development of communications materials and presentations for TYFPC speaking events and presentations.
  • Acting as support for any technical issues council and community experience using our website, Google groups, email, or related channels.

A person in this role should:

  • Be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google apps, WordPress, and Mailchimp.
  • Be self-motivated.
  • Be comfortable with basic HTML/CSS or more.
  • Be connected with the local food community online (or interested in it).
  • Have 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 take place the first Monday of every second month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 22, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.
  • 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.

Vice Chair (1)

The Vice Chair is responsible for the following:

  • Providing leadership and support to the TYFPC council members.
  • Contributing to and facilitating incoming TYFPC member orientation and ongoing council training.
  • Supporting the planning and chairing of internal and public council meetings in coordination with the Chair.
  • Reviewing and soliciting council feedback, and implementing changes to TYFPC processes and procedures.
  • Contributing to financial decisions about the council budget.
  • Regular meetings with the Executive committee and other committees to contribute to council cohesion and communication.
  • Representing the TYFPC at other stakeholder tables, including the TFPC, at events and in the media.

A person in this role should:

  • Be organized.
  • Have peer leadership experience.
  • Be prompt with email communication.
  • Have excellent time management.
  • Have a proven ability to manage multiple projects at once.
  • Have experience with and interest in practicing conflict resolution.
  • Be willing to accept criticism (of oneself and of the council) and use it to implement improvements.
  • Have approximately 7 hours per week to dedicate to this position and the flexibility to dedicate more hours (up to 10 hours), when necessary at busier times in the year.
  • Commit to a 2-year term with the intent of taking on the Chair role in the second year.

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.
  • Supporting executive committee strategic decision making processes.
  • All council are also required to help coordinate one community meeting, which will take place the first Monday of each month.

How to apply:

  • Deadline: Send a completed application and resume to applications@tyfpc.ca by July 22, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.
  • Submission Email Subject Line: ‘Vice Chair Application – Your Name’.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in mid-late 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.

TYFPC Application Form