Engaging… Convening… Collaborating… Advocating… Influencing… to build a sustainable food system and make healthy food accessible for everyone living on the North Shore.
The North Shore Table Matters Network has been building relationships between local governments and community groups with interests in food security, urban agriculture and local food systems since 2005. While we do not provide programming, we engage diverse sectors of the community and support the development of partnerships and projects that align with the North Shore Community Food Charter and address community needs. One of our main priorities is to increase the profile of food by infusing food into community dialogue, policy and life on Vancouver’s North Shore.
Food is shared around the “Table” during Network gatherings as members, including leaders from local municipalities, businesses, and the community, gather to discuss current food affairs, our strategic priorities, and future possibilities.
Advisory members are the Table Matters Network decision-makers. Representatives from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver, and our host agency, North Shore Neighbourhood House, oversee projects that support the North Shore Community Food Charter. All Charter signatories are de facto Advisory members and are welcome to participate in our meetings.
We are grateful to Vancouver Coastal Health for providing core funding through the Community Food Action Initiative (SMART Fund) and to other project-based funders like Innoweave who support our work on Vancouver’s North Shore. We are also grateful to our host agency, North Shore Neighbourhood House, who provides us with a home.
Food security work has a long history in BC and involves collaboration across public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Here is a brief history of our accomplishments on the North Shore.
Table Matters hires a new Network Coordinator and brings together the Charter signatories and others in the community with an interest in community food security to look at what we have accomplished, food issues on the North Shore, and begins a Strategic Planning Process. By the Spring of 2020, three strategic priorities had been established:
- Infusing food into community dialogue, policy and life on the North Shore.
- Neigbourhood Food Collaborative
- Food Waste and Recovery
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were about to launch working groups for each of these priorities and are now (April 2020) in the process of developing a strategy to move our priorities forward.
2017 – 2018
Table Matters Fall 2017 Gathering – Seed, Soil, and Sovereignty: Celebrating Diversity with Food
Table Matters hits the refresh button – a new logo and branding is launched, terms of reference are developed, the website is updated, the search for a Network coordinator is on and membership tops out at 500!
Let’s Talk Food Policy – A Regional Gathering – Table Matters co-hosts a networking event for food policy leaders from across the region and sparks a new project to develop resources for municipal policy tools
The Foodprint Challenge – 36 Residents enjoy auditing their food waste and learning how to rescue food at home
Annual Fall Forum, An Evening of Dialogue and Dinner: What’s Growing on the North Shore – leaders present new ideas to improve community capacity projects across the North Shore and participants leave inspired and excited to get involved
The North Shore Community Food Charter is endorsed by the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver, North Vancouver School District #44, West Vancouver School District #45, the Municipality of the Village of Lions Bay, Bowen Island Municipality, Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Vancouver Coastal Health.
Annual Fall Forum, An Evening of Dialogue and Dinner: Let’s Talk Food Rescue – Table Matters engages over 120 attendees in an awareness-building event to celebrate its first funded project: Scaling Up Food Rescue
Implementing the North Shore Community Food Charter – Table Matters and the Edible Garden Project work with municipal staff to lay the groundwork for policy changes that implement the Food Charter
Annual Fall Forum, An Evening of Dialogue and Dinner – Over 150 community members enjoy dinner to celebrate and endorse the final Draft of the North Shore Community Food Charter
The North Shore Community Food Charter is presented to Congress – The North Shore Congress supports the Food Charter and directs Table Matters to approach each Council for official endorsements
The Table Matters Reference Group identifies the need for a foundation policy to both build upon and provide consistency across all the North Shore municipalities – a food charter is the next step
Annual Fall Forum, An Evening of Dialogue and Dinner – Over 150 community members share dinner and facilitated dialogue to collect input needed to draft a Food Charter
Table Matters sends delegations to Municipal Councils with an outline of the North Shore Community Food Charter – feedback is incorporated into the document
Spring Forum – a draft of the North Shore Community Food Charter is presented to the community for feedback
Annual Fall Forum, An Evening of Dialogue and Dinner: Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems – Local elected officials and First Nations representatives participate in a panel discussion, community leaders share their ideas and all event participants brainstorm to find solutions
The Table Matters Reference Group submits suggestions to the District of North Vancouver Official Community Plan after which urban agriculture is integrated into a number of points within the updated Plan – a big success!
Annual Fall Forum, Agricultural Urbanism: Great Food System Opportunities for the North Shore – The first of 5 events where all 5 North Shore Mayors share their visions for moving urban agriculture and food security forward
Following a survey of 400 residents – along with Network advocacy – the District of North Vancouver’s Official Community Plan is updated with specific wording related to urban agriculture, food security and food policy developments
Table Matters Networking Conference – Table Matters Reference Group, made up of 20 community members, begins to meet monthly and pursue food security initiatives identified as priority strategies
Advancing Urban Agriculture Grants are awarded to 13 food security projects across North Shore neighbourhoods to grow gardens, skills and networks for all ages. These grants become an annual opportunity for like-minded projects
The First Annual Fall Forum, Table Matters: A Community Discussion about Food Security on the North Shore – This first event encourages North Shore governments, residents and businesses to focus on local food security issues and to come up with possible solutions
Vancouver Coastal Health Food Security Program allocates funding toward building a food security network and the North Shore Food Action Committee officially adopts the “Table Matters” moniker – membership grows to include municipal staff as well as community members
Community interest in developing knowledge and capacity to improve local food systems grows while Vancouver Coastal Health focuses on providing all residents access to adequate, safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods that are produced in environmentally sustainable ways and are offered in a dignified manner
The North Shore Food Action Committee emerges in response to CFAI – following SPARC’s North Shore food security scan, a plan is drawn up
The Edible Garden Project breaks ground thanks to a coalition of North Shore organizations funded by UBCM and Vancouver Coastal Health’s CFAI
Food Security Core Programs Evidence Review + Food Security Model Core Program Paper support the inclusion of food security into health authority prevention measures, including Vancouver Coastal Health
The Community Food Action Initiative (CFAI), the first provincial health promotion initiative in Canada to recognize and financially support community-led food security activities, becomes part of the Healthy Eating component in ActNow BC and the North Shore Table Matters Network is set