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

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

ACT for CFS Logo2010 – 2015

Generating the most comprehensive research on community food security in Nova Scotia – rooted in lived experiences, real community needs and innovative solutions.

Overview & Purpose

ACT for CFS and the resulting publications are the result of over a decade of partnerships and both builds on and contributes to the growing movement in Nova Scotia and beyond for long-lasting change for food security. This is the most comprehensive research every done on community food security in Nova Scotia. The findings and strategies reflect the wisdom, resilience and passion of all partners and the insights from hundreds of people who participated in our research.

Graphic - Report cover
Making Food Matter:
Strategies for activating change together
A participatory research report on community food security in Nova Scotia. November 2014
View the 2014 Report »
(PDF, 9 MB | 106 pages)

Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS) was a 5-year participatory research project (2010-2015) that aimed to increase community food security for all Nova Scotians. Building on the community-based participatory research and partnership of the Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) and the Nova Scotia Food Security Network, ACT for CFS involved nearly 70 community, university and government partners at local, provincial and national levels, with representation across multiple sectors and disciplines. Partners aimed to increase knowledge and awareness of community food security, identify promising practices, and enhance engagement, collaboration and capacity for social and policy change to create the conditions for community food security for all Nova Scotians.

Through a myriad of project activities, our strategic research alliance strived 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 connected the issue of community food security to our everyday lives, and fostered 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 explored 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.

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.