Led by Theresa Schumilas, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.
The Southern Ontario team is excited to build upon ongoing work by our university-based and community partners to support the development of food hubs. Questions we want to explore include: comparing farm-based and more urban food hubs; examining the potential of food hubs to support public procurement initiatives, for example through partnerships with Student Nutrition Programs; assessing effective models of multi-stakeholder partnerships; and thinking about how to evaluate the collective impact of food hubs across the region. We are also interested in identifying creative funding strategies that could support grassroots community food initiatives and ecological farmers. Many of these research questions directly relate to the theme of scaling up and out, though we are also paying attention to integration and governance issues.
Over the summer of 2016, we will have students engaged in participatory action research with FoodShare, Young City Growers and a City-Region Food System assessment project. We are also planning to develop some short videos as a way of showcasing the work being done by these organizations and other partners, including the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and 100km Foods.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems