Food council takes root in Brandon, digs into food security

Full Article featured in the Brandon Sun – April 15, 2021

Entering into its third year of operation, the Brandon Food Council is making the leap from pilot program to community-led initiative, setting a bold vision of “Food for All. Growing a healthy and vibrant community”. The focus is on sustainability and collaboration.

A central goal of the Brandon Food Council is to focus on “the particular food security issues that exist within the localized context of the Brandon and Westman regions. As the medium-sized urban hub of a far-flung and diverse rural region, Brandon experiences slightly different food security issues than larger urban centres. Accessibility to food-distribution sites and information dissemination both create unique, added layers of complexity in Westman’s fight for a food-secure future” says Ryan Whibbs, chair of the Brandon Food Council.

The Brandon Food Council began in early 2018 as a project of Food Matters Manitoba, an organization that prides itself on incubating local solutions to local food issues and was instrumental in getting the Winnipeg Food Council started in 2017. Food Matters Manitoba is celebrating its most recent food council project an incredible achievement with great potential.

“It is really rewarding to have witnessed the Brandon Food Council take shape and to have played a part in setting it up for success”, says Rob Moquin, executive director of Food Matters Manitoba. “With such an engaged and community-minded food council, especially this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, I can only image great things to come for food security in Brandon.”

Going forward, the two organizations are committed to supporting Brandon residents in growing and harvesting food to increase biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gas emission, provide economic opportunities, build community, and in the long term, realize a resilient Edible City.

As a first organization-to-organization partnership, Brandon Food Council and Food Matters Manitoba plan to develop The Edible City app, featuring information on and access to community food security resources in Brandon like garden plots, public harvesting opportunities, seed sharing and educational events in a variety of languages.

To learn more about the Brandon Food Council, visit their Facebook page