A few days ago I tuned into the Earth day online conversation on sustainability with the City of Kingston. Time was limited, and my question about efforts to develop a local food system wasn’t one of the handful answered during the hour. I submitted my question via email and received an answer pretty quickly:
The City is proud founder member of Sustainable Kingston and we are committed to helping the community achieve the goals identified in the Sustainable Kingston Plan. You can find this plan at www.SustainableKingston.ca .
Under the Social Pillar of the Plan, under Food and Nutrition the community is committed to “improve access to healthy food choices” and to “promote the consumption of locally grown food through food markets”.
Some of the ways in which the City is contributing to this goal include the creation of community gardens throughout the City, two farmers markets to support the sale of local foods, our partnership with Downtown Kingston to promote a Local Food, Local Chef event, the Kingston Climate Action Plan, partnerships with the United Way to implement the Community Poverty Reduction Plan, partnerships with the Loving Spoonful and the KFL&A Public Health who are developing a food charter and food council and the creation of a park vehicle refreshment policy that includes a local food aspect.
I hope this has been helpful and thank you very much for your participation in our first online conversation.
On behalf of the Online Discussion Group.
Most of these initiatives are things I’m familiar with, at least vaguely. I’m going to be attending a volunteer information session, Behind the Spoon, this Monday for the Loving Spoonful. I’ve visited the downtown farmer’s market and the Memorial Centre Farmer’s market.
I found the mention of community gardens particularly noteworthy considering this article in the Whig this week talking about difficulties starting up a new garden downtown because of the City’s red tape. I sent an reply asking what the City is doing to help Chef Ian Arthur and Holly WhiteKnight get the project off the ground (or into the ground I suppose).
The other thing that caught my eye was the ‘park vehicle refreshment policy’. After a quick google search I found this document. The City has a whole policy regarding food trucks that:
gives priority to vendors who provide diverse, healthy and local food options, use sustainable business practices and follow accessibility standards.