Food from Home 2021

An initiative by the Bow Valley PCN, Town of Canmore, and Bow Valley Food Alliance, Food From Home encouraged people to take growing food into their own hands while taking advantage of our beautiful Rocky Mountain climate, regardless of garden space – be it a patio, balcony or yard.

The goal of this program was to provide an inclusive environment for anyone at any skill level, income-level, or housing situation to be empowered to grow their own food, through offering accessible skill-building and education experiences. With a vision to enhance food sovereignty in our unique communities, to increase understanding of the need for food security, to empower people to fuel their bodies with nutritious food, and to promote a better understanding of where our food comes from, along with its social, environmental, and economic impacts.

Why was it important?

According to a 2020 survey by the Town of Canmore, the living wage required by a 2-parent, 2-child household in Canmore is $30.97 per hour for each parent. This is more than twice the minimum wage in Alberta. With Canmore being the most expensive community in the province, affording basic needs such as nutritious food can sometimes be difficult. Moreover, many folks, especially those living in affordable or low-income housing, often do not have the space to grow and harvest food in their backyards. In a survey done in July 2020 by the Bow Valley Food Alliance, the top two issues ranked by respondents as issues of high to medium priority included cost of food and lack of spaces to grow food. Almost 63% of 259 respondents across the Bow Valley wanted more spaces to grow food in the valley.

Growing food in the Bow Valley can be intimidating for new gardeners, especially when the growing season is so short and attracting wildlife is problematic. However, gaining knowledge around how to grow your own food is a very powerful step towards understanding how one can influence change in their food system.

How did it work?

Anyone in the Bow Valley was encouraged to participate (i.e. Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, MD Bighorn, Kananaskis, Morley). Veggie grow-kits (containers, seeds, soil) were provided to lower-income & food insecure Bow Valley residents, made possible by donations from the Banff Canmore Community Foundation and support from the Bow Valley Garden Centre. As there was a limited supply of kits, successful applications were awarded based on need. Along with the 100 kits distributed through initial funding, The Banff chapter of the Family Resource Network was able to fund and distribute 30 more grow-kits.

Each month from May-September 2021, there was a different educational session focused on enhancing food sovereignty & security in our community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project took place virtually. Topics & speakers below:

To check out the recorded sessions visit our PCN YouTube channel.