Request for Proposals: Paying for Nutrition in Northern Canada (Food Secure Canada)

Issue Date: June 30, 2014
Solicitation Closes: August 15, 2014
Return Proposal to: Amanda Sheedy by email to
Submission Requirements: Letter of presentation and CV

For more information – please visit Food Secure Canada’s website.

Food Secure Canada is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three inter-locking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.


As demonstrated by the Council of Canadian Academies’ recent report on Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada, food insecurity in the north is a crisis in need of urgent attention. Food Secure Canada (FSC) has convened and supported the Northern and Remote Food Network for the past 5 years in order to share information and develop collective projects to impact policy that affects food security and food sovereignty in northern and remote communities. The network and its members have identified food costing research as a need to support their work locally, regionally and nationally. Food costing involves gathering the prices of different foods to assess the cost of eating a basic healthy diet (more information: While food costing methods are well developed for ‘southern’ Canada using the 2008 National Nutritious Food Basket (NNFB), many believe that the Revised Northern Food Basket (RNFB) does not adequately reflect the realities in Northern Canada, in particular the reliance on traditional / country foods to meet food needs. As a consequence, many local efforts are underway to revise food costing. Paying for Nutrition will bring together those wishing to advance food costing work with a particular focus in Northern Canada.

This project is funded through an Industry Canada grant.

Paying for Nutrition:

Paying for Nutrition will convene a ‘community of practice’ (CoP) to advance food costing methodology and carry out food costing research in two regions: one region of Nova Scotia and one region in Northern Canada (TBD). The CoP will gather a group of people and organizations who are involved in food costing work, particularly in northern communities (including community members, band councils, academics, dietitians, and more) for a series of regular teleconference meetings. Through these conversations and in consultation with the Research Advisory Team they will develop: a set of guidelines to carry out food costing research in the north in a culturally appropriate manner and a method to compare findings between Northern and Southern Canada. Training on the participatory food costing methodology developed by FoodARC will be made available to the coordinator and communities who will be involved. In spring 2015, members of the group will carry out food costing using the new guidelines in at least 2 regions (FoodARC will carry out food costing in one region in NS and the person / organization hired through this RFP will carry out food costing in one region in the north). Data analysis will include the use of regional data from Statistics Canada in order to assess the cost of food relative to the cost of living in the region, as well as the creation of a variety of different household affordability scenarios. The CoP will reflect on the data collection process and revise the guidelines where needed. A report will be written and disseminated, including to participating communities.

Mandate of Research Project Coordinator:

  • Coordinate, convene and support a community of practice on food costing with a particular focus on northern and remote communities.
  • Assist with the overall coordination of the FSC Northern and Remote Food Network.
  • Coordinate food costing research in one northern region (TBD).
  • Write plain language research reports and disseminate including through press releases, media events, web content, social media, etc.
  • Establish and maintain relationships where needed with grocery retailers, governments, band councils and communities.
  • Support the development of research tools.
  • Conduct analysis, including gathering Statistics Canada data on income in northern regions and creating family scenarios.
  • Organize team events and workshops as needed.
  • Skills and experience we are looking for:
  • Experience with or knowledge of food costing methodology, community-based / collaborative research or similar applied research.
  • Excellent communications skills, including facilitation, writing in plain language, development of communications tools.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct analysis with support of statistician.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain partnerships across sectors.

Project timeline: August 2014 – March 2016

Budget: $40,000

Teams of people with complementary skill sets or organizations are welcome to bid on the project. Preference will be given to candidates living in Northern Canada.