On October 4, in celebration of Ontario Agriculture Week, the Greenbelt Fund hosted a Local Food Literacy roundtable event to facilitate the sharing of experience and insights of tracking and measuring results of local food literacy initiatives.
The focus of the knowledge-sharing discussion was to help determine how best to measure to what extent local food literacy has improved because of local food literacy programming. Through brainstorming, discussions, expert moderation and valuable presentations, participants were able to learn from one another about good practices for evaluation methods and meaningful measurements of change.
The goal of this roundtable was to determine if common indicators for local food literacy would be useful as a community. Throughout the event and discussions, it became clear that there are steps we can take as a community to move forward local food literacy indicators.
Participants in the roundtable discussions developed a comprehensive cluster of local food literacy outcomes and their attributes in the areas of advocacy and policy, confidence and self-efficacy, food systems, healthy food access, food knowledge, social connectedness, and food skills. These clusters are a starting point to build upon and a good indication that although our programmatic work and evaluation sometimes happens strictly through unique organizational or regional lenses, we are striving for common measurable goals.
Presenters provided the greater context of the current local food literacy landscape. The Ontario Dietitians in Public Health shared their work creating common food literacy indicators, and OMAFRA discussed preliminary work mapping food literacy and local food literacy goals and attributes. Tips and tools for collecting and measuring local food literacy data within a non-profit reality were offered by Ecosource, and we explored the potential to use our collective local food literacy outcomes to encourage greater local food literacy support with Sustain Ontario.
The Greenbelt Fund thanks all participants for their expert knowledge and collaboration, and we look forward to continuing the conversation, building on these local food literacy attributes and outcomes.