Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia
2005 – 2017
Make Food Matter
Make Food Matter is a strategy to support FoodARC partners in building community food security (CFS) across Nova Scotia by moving research to action. The toolkit for the strategy is comprised of five main streams of action – community dialogues, policy, advocacy, social innovation and effective communication. Each action stream contains an array of resources that form an online toolkit, intended to mobilize over 10 years of research and our collective experiences.
The Make Food Matter social media campaign draws awareness to FoodARC’s research around food security, and to get Nova Scotians thinking about how food is important to everyone and how many people in our province do not have access to affordable, healthy food that is produced in sustainable and humane ways.
The Hand You’re Dealt
In January 2015, Voices partnered with a design class taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) to create the scenario-based game The Hand You’re Dealt. The game is intended as a knowledge mobilization tool for Voices partners to share FoodARC’s Participatory Food Costing findings, specifically the affordability scenarios. Participants play the game as a household scenario and must go through the month paying for basic and incidental needs using a fixed income. At the end of the month, players see how much money they have left for food, and whether they can afford a basic, fair, or poor diet.
The goal of the game is to create empathy and understanding for the experiences of households experiencing food insecurity and to correct the perception that people living in poverty would be able to afford a healthy diet if they simply made better spending choices. The game also outlines particular policy changes that could make a difference in the financial situation (and therefore food access) of low-income households, such as affordable housing, a childcare strategy, and universal health coverage.
Since its creation, the game has been tested with numerous partners and groups. Now the game is undergoing evaluation and further development.
You can find additional information about the game here.
You can also find Global News coverage of one of the events featuring the game here.
Other Knowledge Sharing, Advocacy and Action
- Voices partners seek out opportunities to share research results. Food Costing information has been presented at every level, from small community events, to national and international conferences.
- Efforts are always being made to share Food Costing findings and advocate for change through academic and professional publications as well as through traditional and social media.
- We communicate with policy makers at all levels of government through consultations, policy briefs and participation in anti-poverty “think-tanks”.
We participate in, and host conversations bringing diverse perspectives from communities, universities and government together to develop and implement action plans for assuring healthier, more food secure individuals and communities.
“When I approach my [Member of the Legislative Assembly] or my [Member of Parliament] now, I know how to approach them. I am better prepared.”
– Community Partner
FoodARC and its partners have published numerous reports and other resources to share findings from the Voices project. Visit Resources and Publications to learn more.