Participants in the survey will be entered in a draw to win $100 grocery gift certificates. (THE NEWS files)

Participants in the survey will be entered in a draw to win $100 grocery gift certificates. (THE NEWS files)

Food security survey underway in Maple Ridge

Feast Maple Ridge undertaking public engagement to analyse needs and gaps in the community

A food security survey is being conducted by the Feast Maple Ridge, for the City of Maple Ridge, to understand the community’s needs.

The Feast Maple Ridge, which stands for Food Education and Action Strategy Table, is a revision of the Golden Ears Feast, and has been working towards increasing and encouraging community engagement to review the community’s needs and priority action areas to address food insecurity, said Kim Dumore, coordinator of the Maple Ridge Community Food Security Assessment and Prioritization Project.

“We are reinvigorating the conversation,” she said.

The first phase of the project included completing a demographic profile, obtaining data from sources such as community organizations, and conducting an environmental scan of existing food system assets.

“The survey is one step in the community engagement process of the grant to review the community’s needs and priority action areas to address food insecurity. The next steps will be assessing the data that we receive from the community engagement and preparing a report with a community priority action plan to be presented to Council in the fall,” said Dumore.

In May 2020, the city’s Social Policy Advisory Committee along with Fraser Health’s Healthy Communities Initiative, received a $25,000 Poverty Reduction and Action Planning grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

The grant was awarded to complete a Community Food Security Assessment and Prioritization Project for the City of Maple Ridge. The project, which aims to capture data, and recognize and analyze gaps in the services within the community when it comes to food security, is expected to be completed between September 2020 and September 2021.

“Food insecurity is closely linked with poverty, and low income is the strongest predictor. By creating this assessment, we hope to understand the issues affecting food insecurity among our residents and develop a community food security plan with a poverty reduction lens to coordinate efforts to reduce food insecurity in Maple Ridge,” said Dumore.

The survey is available online in six languages – English, French, Hindi, Korean, Russian and Spanish and is open until July 31. Dumore has also distributed paper surveys for those who are unable to access the survey online. Currently, the paper surveys are available at the Seniors Food Bank, Salvation Army and the ministry of poverty reduction office. The group also included a flyer about the survey in every food bank hamper for the month of July.

Those participating in the survey, will be entered to win one of 15 $100 grocery store gift certificates.

At this time, Dumore has already received 500 survey responses.

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