FoodARC’s projects and activities are grounded in four pillars: research, building capacity, sharing knowledge, and advocacy and policy change.  Throughout all four pillars, our principles of inclusion and innovation shape activities as we work together with diverse groups to develop, test, and learn from new approaches.  As a result, evaluation is a vital and cross-cutting component of all projects and activities.


FoodARC partners, students, and staff use a wide range of qualitative research methods in projects and activities.  These include using surveys, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, institutional ethnography, storysharing, photovoice, and videovoice.

In addition, data is also gathered using quantitative approaches, such as the cost of food (see NS Participatory Food Costing for more information),  inventories and asset maps, community mapping and spatial analysis.  Visit our Completed Projects pages for more information.

Building capacity

Capacity building activities are founded on mutual learning and adult education, in which everyone — students, staff, university-based partners, community members, community organizations, and government representatives — all bring valuable knowledge, skills, and experiences to share along with desire to learn from others.  As a result, both individuals and groups enhance knowledge, confidence, and skills to support the research and policy change work. Visit Events and Learning to check out past and upcoming learning opportunities.

Sharing information and results

Our approach to sharing information and results is also based on the Ways of Knowing Framework. In addition to publications, reports,  presentations, workshops, tools and workbooks, FoodARC and project partners share results and new knowledge by creating opportunities for meaningful conversations and critical reflection. Our Resources section contains a list of publications and tools we have produced and used.

Advocacy and policy change

Good and effective food policy must address human health, the environment, and social relations.1 In addition, changing policies require both collaborative efforts across sectors and geographic regions and benefit greatly when those most affected by the issues are involved in advocating for and shaping policy solutions.2  Our commitment is to supporting those with lived experiences of food insecurity to have a voice at the policy table and create tools and mechanisms to support community-led policy change. Visit the Make Food Matter website for tools to support advocacy and policy change.

Check out past and upcoming learning opportunities.

1. Lang, T. Barling, D. & Caraher, M. (2009). Food Policy: Integrating health, environment and society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2. Vogel, E., Anderson, K., Williams, P.L. & Emrich, T. (2008). A policy window for food security at the federal level? Practice, 44,8.