FoodARC Projects

Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS)

Overview & Purpose

Rooted in lived experiences, real community needs and innovative solutions, ACT for CFS amplifies and broadens conversation, research, and action to strengthen capacity for policy change.

Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS) is a 5-year participatory research project (2010-2015) that aims to increase community food security for all Nova Scotians.

Through a myriad of project activities, our strategic research alliance strives to better understand the components of community food security from a diversity of perspectives and increase our capacity – as individuals, community members, and citizens – to address it through policy change. ACT for CFS connects the issue of community food security to our everyday lives, and fosters capacity and inclusion as we work, together, to achieve comprehensive policy solutions that will lead to healthier, stronger, and more vibrant Nova Scotia communities.

We were able to work with Corrie Melanson from See Meaning, a local graphic facilitation company, to produce this wonderful and creative project overview.


Research Questions

As a result of previous work and ongoing input by partners, ACT for CFS is exploring three overarching research questions:

  1. What are the components of, and factors contributing to, community food security in NS?
  2. How can we build capacity for policy change at multiple levels to improve community food security?
  3. What and how can a community-university research process contribute to the theory and practice of policy changes related to community food security?


  1. To assess food systems and their impact on food access in selected NS communities to enhance understanding of community food security.
  2. To examine the policy environment that impacts community food security in NS.
  3. To enhance knowledge and skills of students and partners on participatory action research, community food security, and the development of strategies for policy change through innovative and diverse learning opportunities.
  4. To critically examine our practices and processes to determine the impact on those involved in participatory action research.
  5. To mobilize knowledge gained within the case communities and beyond to support policy change that contributes to community food security.

ACT for CFS Team Gathering 2010

The ACT for CFS team met in August 2010 to kick-off our five-year adventure into exploring community food security and building capacity for policy change.

  • Report (PDF, 3.5 MB | 25 pages)

ACT for CFS Team Gathering 2013

In August 20-22, 2013, over 80 ACT for CFS team members came together at the Mount Saint Vincent University campus to learn, reconnect, collaborate, and inspire each other. The purpose of this gathering was to share what we’ve been learning during the first half of the project and prepare for the next 1.5 years of change and action.

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