One of the things often included in the long list of benefits of eating local is that a strong local food system builds the resilience of a community to withstand isolation and ensure food security if anything should happen that threatens the global supply chain. Never could we have imagined how quickly that concept could turn from theory to reality.

That said, our food supply is NOT in jeopardy at this time. There is pleny of food (and toilet paper) to go around, if we resist the temptation to stockpile goods so that everyone can continue to access what they need, when they need it, and suppliers can meet a more consistent level of demand. It's a different sort of "flattening the curve".

The shift in our lifestyles has been dizzying, and at the same time it is heartwarming and exciting to see people and businesses rise to the occasion, eagerly offering help to their neighbours - from the prescribed safe distance - and adjusting to the urgent needs of the moment, including access to food. Here are just a few examples of things we're hearing about:

  • Many people have already switched to purchasing more from local farmers, in some cases tripling the sales of a typical Saturday market!
  • Check the Headwaters Farm Fresh Guide listings. Best to make contact before heading to any farms or farmgate/stores, as many farms have adjusted how they operate and availability and accessibility will vary.
  • Looking for local, seasonal recipes that are kid-friendly and good for family time in the kitchen? Check our our Local Food Club recipes.

  • Work-at-home cooks and displaced restaurant chefs are providing delicious and nutritious pre-made options for take-away or delivery.
  • Ask neighbours and friends for sources they are connected with or check your favourite restaurant's social media for their latest news.

  • Grocery stores are reinventing how they serve customers, with extended and exclusive hours for seniors, online order fees waived, curb-side pick up, and even delivery. Check your local stores for options.

  • For vulnerable and food insecure households, partnerships and collaborative efforts are popping up among community food centres, emergency food services, student nutrition operators, grocery stores and service organizations to mobilize food distribution and deliver boxes, baskets and hampers all over our region. See just a few local examples below.

Things will surely continue to evolve, so we will begin a conversation, pinned to the top of our Facebook page, inviting you all to share what's happening with food access in your neighbourhoods.

Check in, take care and be well.