A just and sustainable food system…
The Central Okanagan Food Policy Council (COFPC) is a group of people who are working towards food security and a thriving local food system in the Central Okanagan. The COFPC board and membership represents the non-profit, health, and business sectors and also includes people with a passion in supporting community food security and our local food system.
The COFPC provides an opportunity for people and groups to connect and share information and resources, and a chance for people interested in food-related issues in the Central Okanagan’s to work together towards common goals. We connect with all of the municipalities in the area: Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland.
Join us in working towards a just and sustainable food system!
Membership helps support the work of the COFPC and is only $20/year.
A resilient food system that meets the needs of the Central Okanagan Community.
To nurture a just and sustainable food system through policy, education, and food action.
- To influence food policy at the municipal level
- To provide education to increase awareness of all aspects of the food system
- To support food action projects/initiatives through
- Coordination and development of up to one project at a time
Some helpful definitions!
Food Security exists when all community residents have economic and physical access to enough healthy, safe food available through a food system that can be sustained for generations to come, and that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice
Economic access means that all community members have enough money to purchase food at healthy food retail. The cost of living has increased while wages and government subsidies have not. Many people who are working do not make enough money buy food after paying rent, bills, transportation and other important things. Also, people who receive disability and social assistance, the payments do not cover the cost of living often. While food program can help those who use them make ends meet, research shows that the best way to ensure people have economic access to food is though a basic income guarantee government subsidy.
Physical Access means that food is easily accesible and is close to where we live, work, play and learn.
- Healthy food retail: grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm gates sales
- Community gardens
- Edible landscapes
- Productive agricultural land
- Transportation systems
- Food production that protects the environment
Physical access contributes to food self-sufficiency, which protects us from possible threats of relying on the global food system.
Our food system is complex! Everything from how our food is produced, sold, eaten, and thrown away/composted is included! So is any policy or rules about food, how we educate and learn about food, any research about food, and how we celebrate food. Look at this helpful graphic:
This food system graphic was developed by Kwatlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems.
Food policy is the area of public policy concerning how food is:
Food policies are designed to influence the operation of the food and agriculture system.
This often includes decision-making around: production and processing techniques, marketing, availability, utilization and consumption of food, in the interest of meeting or furthering social objectives.
Food policy can be addressed at many levels:
- From local To global
- By a government agency
Food policymakers engage in activities such as regulation of food-related industries, ensuring safety of the food supply and food labeling.
Meet Our Board and Crew
Betty Baker is a Public Health Nurse with an interest in food security. Through her role as a Public Health Nurse, Betty has seen how growing food and getting your hands in the soil can help people through challenging times.
Betty has a passion for food action projects and has been interested in starting a Good Food Box program in the Central Okanagan for serveral years. Since becoming a board member, Betty has helped the COFPC start the development of a Good Food Box pilot project.
Alison joined the COFPC board in 2015 as both a representative of the Kelowna Canadian Mental Health Association and also a citizen who wants to be hands on in shaping a just and thriving food system. She has an MA in Leadership and a BA in Social Sciences. Alison has worked at CMHA Kelowna since 2008 and is the manager of Wellness Programs and Special Projects. Her work at CMHA is focused on recovery for people with lived experience of mental health challenges and the promotion of mental health for all members of the community. A healthy food system is essential to individual and community health and wellbeing. Participation in the COFPC has allowed CMHA Kelowna to stay aligned and involved with the ongoing development of a just and sustainable food system.
As a “farm girl” who grew up watching family grow and preserve most of the food eaten at the table, Elena has long been interested in food systems. Living in the Okanagan off-and-on for the last 11 years, Elena spent a summer as an apprentice at an organic vegetable and stone fruit farm in Cawston, BC and also managed an organic walnut and Asian pear orchard in Cawston. After her time in Cawston Elena moved to New Zealand and fed her food passion by helping out at an organic asparagus farm and helping with sales for another local organic farm at a weekly farmers’ market. Elena is able to bring her experience as a farmer to the table when discussing food system policy and has also been a key player in developing the Good Food Box program!
ChairRetired Registered Dietitian, Backyard Homesteader, Beekeeper
Although Linda was mostly raised in Vancouver she has deep roots in Kelowna where her family has farmed for the past 125 years. The only explanation that Linda can think of for her love of having her hands in the dirt is that she “inherited it.” Linda’s interest in being on the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council is to share her passion for community food security, environmental sustainability, and food preparation and preservation skills. As much as possible Linda and her husband Gary practice a 75-foot diet which is approximately the distance from the furthest raised garden bed in the backyard to the kitchen door. Linda worked as a Registered Dietitian for over 30 years and she is finding that this training and experience is serving her well in helping to move forward the vision of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council.
Jill Worboys is a Public Health Dietitian with Interior Health, based in Kelowna. Jill works alongside community groups and is on the board of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council, helping move forward food action and food policy. Also, by linking health to agriculture, food production and land use, Jill is able to work with local governments by providing a health lens on the importance of protecting agriculture land. Jill also sits on the City Kelowna’s Agriculture Advisory Committee as a representative of Interior Health’s Food Security Program. Jill is very passionate about all aspects of food; from growing, to cooking and preserving….and eating!
Consulting Project Manager
Casey Hamilton has been involved with the COFPC since 2008. Today she takes part in a variety of COFPC projects. As a Registered Dietitian, her passion is in food systems and is playing her part in making it more sustainable, equitable, and viable. Her latest project with the COFPC has been working with the Good Food Box project team.
She is the Excutive Director of the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project Society, a gleaning project that was incubated with the COFPC. The Okanagan Fruit Tree Project and the COFPC work together and share resources to help both organizations thrive!
Central Okanagan Food Policy Council
PO Box 22001