About Eat West Coast
Eat West Coast is a regional food security initiative of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. We are part of Island Food Hubs, a collective of organizations working together across the island to address food issues and ultimately improve health.
Food security exists when everyone in our community has physical and economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally-appropriate food to be happy and healthy. Food security depends on having a healthy food system that is both environmentally sustainable and economically viable across the spectrum of production, distribution, access, preparation, consumption and disposal. Eat West Coast helps to bridge gaps in our food system and ensure everyone can get the food that they need.
We also want to build the foundation for a healthy future for people and also the land which has so much more potential to provide. Food sovereignty, rather than food security, means that there is a shift in focus from food as a commodity to food as a public and community good with an important role in strengthening communities, ecosystems and economies. Food sovereignty emphasizes that people must have a say in how their food is produced and where it comes from as it relates to both access and the environmental context that will affect future generations.
The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust's focus on regional food security as a core regional priority was launched in 2012 with funding from the Island Health Community Food Action Initiative and with research previously conducted by a Ucluelet community initiative to help understand the region's needs and assets. The initiative first focused on community and school gardens and supporting grant recipients under the CBT's annual grant program. The scope was expanded under the name Eat West Coast in 2015 to support a wider range of regional and cross-sectional project and partnerships, increase funding and capacity within the region for food security, and provide leadership for the Island Health's Food Hubs across eight Vancouver Island regions.
Create spaces and opportunities to produce and share food.
Nurture gardening in schools, homes, businesses, community spaces.
Support regional commercial food producers and network local markets.
Encourage ‘Farm, Fish, and Forage’ practices and culture for ecological health and resilience.
Increase access to nutritious foods and promote understanding of and connection to healthy foods.
Support education about healthy eating and food skills.
Foster visibility and value for local and indigenous food.
Improve coordination of processing and distribution.
Strengthen Community Food System Supports
Act as a strong backbone of support and coordination across the region.
Enhance collaboration across individuals, businesses, and organizations.
Develop capacity and policies that promote local foods and healthy eating.
Contribute our local point of view to Vancouver Island and BC food strategies.
Map thanks to Clayoquot Biosphere Trust's Neighbourhood Small Grants