Chris Smith, WIN’s Research Coordinator, presents at the 2018 Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators Conference

Chris Smith, WIN’s Research Coordinator, presents his paper on developing local ecosystems of food security at the 2018 Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Unfortunately, one in 12 households in Canada are moderately to severely food insecure.1 The innovative strategy proposed calls for a community-based approach and leveraged the successful municipal model in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.2 This community hub would offer low or no cost services to those with identified food security needs. Broad based stakeholder engagement would occur across diverse sectors, including education, health, community services and environment, in collaboaration with industy to provide a holistic and sustainable approach to solving food inequities at the municipal level.

Expected outcomes of this strategy include:

1. Mobilizing knowledge to inform effective municipal food security policies and practices.
2. Standardizing best practices to improve food security at the community level.
3. Creation of strong governance and collaboration structures that improve local food security.
4. Capturing real-world evidence of the impact of reducing food insecurity at the municipal level.


Chris Smith developed this local pilot program for his home town of Oshawa, Ontario while studying towards his Certificate in Food Security at Ryerson University. This report won the second annual Public Sector Digest - Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators’ Essay Competition in Municipal Government.



1 Food Banks Canada. (2015). 4 million Canadians are food insecure – what does that mean exactly? Retrieved from www.foodbankscanada.ca/Learn-About-Hunger/Publications/Blog/April-2015/4-million-Canadians-are-food-insecure-%E2%80%93-what-does.aspx

2 Rocha, C. (2001). Urban Food Security Policy: The Case of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Journal for the Study of Food and Society, 5(1), 36-47. DOI: 10.2752/152897901786732735