Community Food Mapping – Food Sovereignty


Dear Community Food Mapping participants (and those who weren’t there but have expressed interest in the topic),

I would like to thank everybody for attending the first community consultation today at Central City Library (Surrey) last Saturday, April 12.

Deirdre and I are currently in the process of collecting (and collating) all the pictures, maps, thoughts and ideas to share them back with all of you.

The next session (for Whalley) will take place at City Centre Library, Dr Ambedkar Room (fourth floor) on Wednesday, April 30 from 6 to 8:30 pm.

For those residing in Newton area, there will be two sessions on May 10 and May 23 (both Saturdays) from 10:30 am to 1 pm. You can find tickets (free) here:

For those of you who want to dig deeper, it was suggested to do some “homework”:

  • Continue “mapping” your own relationship with food, how it is now and how you would like it to be. What behavioural/lifestyle changes would you want to preserve and which ones would you like to change and how?
  • Map your neighbourhood and community in relationship with food: what are the assets (existing projects, businesses, initiatives, behaviours), challenges and opportunities you see? Bring concrete names, addresses and ideas for projects so we can start “dreaming” and “connecting” in the second phase on April 30.

Some ideas that starting sprouting today were:

  •  Create a database for existing land, gardens, farms, food co-ops, markets, organizations and their programs working around food sovereignty, skills, etc. so people interested in food sovereignty have a central place to go.
  • Identify gaps and connect these gaps with the available assets (land, resources, institutions, skilled people, etc.)
  • Create brochures to dissipate concerns about community gardens, emphasizing the positives (beyond growing food) and showing how the “problems” can become “solutions”
  •  Survey local stores and businesses to learn which ones support local, sustainable food and add them to a map (may be a brochure or interactive e-map as part of City of Surrey website or GIS)
  • Survey existent projects supporting food sovereignty and resilience: who they are, where are they located, who manages them, is there a way to include them or partner with them?
  • Create a seed/seedling exchange system
  • Multi-generational and multicultural workshops on the basics: from growing sustainable food to composting, preserving, waste-not, etc
  • Encourage grassroots networks so funding and institutional support are not an issue: a skill/availability/passion database would create a pool of wonderful people who may volunteer skills, space or supplies for workshops and other projects (with or without institutional/financial support)
  • Based on the same principle of Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness programs, we may be able to create Neighbourhood Food Resilience projects which may include sharing backyards, small businesses and co-ops, community gardens and community kitchens, etc.

Please bring along a friend, a family member or a member of your community who may want to dream with us the food system we need and deserve.

With joy,

Silvia Di Blasio, Community Garden Coordinator & Permaculture Consultant – Member of the Surrey/White Rock Food Action Coalition – Passionate about Food Sovereignty and Resilience

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not
.”  ~ Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

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