April 2024


  • Big news for School Food! The federal government has announced that Budget 2024 will include the creation of a National School Food Program! With an investment of $1 billion over five years, the Program will launch with a target of providing meals to 400,000 more kids every year. The Program includes investments for culturally appropriate solutions for Indigenous communities, advancing Indigenous-led solutions, as well as supporting existing school food programs to expand, beginning as early as the 2024-25 school year. 

March 2024


  • The Board of Education met on March 12th and passed a motion on a series of Feeding Futures recommendations, including hiring a 12-month, full time excluded Food Services Coordinator and establishing a Feeding Futures Advisory Committee. These recommendations took into consideration feedback voiced at the internal Rights Holders meeting regarding the initial recommendations in the Feeding Futures Draft Food Scan. We are happy to hear that these concerns, including those of School Food subcommittee members, were taken into consideration by the superintendent and Board.
  • NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MPs Rachel Blaney and Gord Johns held a press conference at LUSH Valley HQ on March 6th, announcing that the NDP have committed to push for universal school food funding in the 2024 budget. School Food subcommittee members attended, many of whom have worked hard on federal School Food petitions over the last year, drawing federal attention to the issue.  
  • The Municipal Planning subcommittee continues to develop recommendations to the Village of Cumberland on incorporating Food Policies into their OCP. The end goal is for this document to become a cross-jurisdictional tool, summarizing best practice recommendations to other municipalities looking to incorporate strong Food Policy into OCPs.



  • Members attended the Climate Change and Health Community Gathering, hosted by Island Health and Snuneymuxw First Nation. At the gathering, the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities – Climate Leadership Plan (VICC CLP) inquired how the CVFPC and VICC CLP can collaborate to look at climate from a food security perspective.

  • The School Food subcommittee shared Feeding Futures planning resources with SD71 Board of Education and leadership and reviewed the Draft Feeding Futures District Scan prior to its presentation to the School Board. The CVFPC also posed some questions to the Board regarding the Scan.

  • The Municipal Planning subcommittee has revisited the Island Food Charter and sent reminder letters requesting local municipalities sign on and incorporate the Charter into their OCP.  The City of Courtenay and the Village of Cumberland have provided signatory confirmation. The Town of Comox addressed the request on the Consent Agenda at a Council Meeting and the request has been made available to the CVRD Directors for their consideration. 

  • The Municipal Planning subcommittee is also continuing to develop recommendations to the Village of Cumberland on incorporating Food Policies into their OCP. The CVFPC has been identified as a stakeholder group in Cumberland’s OCP review and will be contacted during the next round of public engagement.

January 2024


SD71 District PAC vice-chair and CVFPC School Food Subcommittee member Megan Cowling sent a School Food Petition to MP Rachel Blaney. The petition requested more support from the federal government for school food programs, which would provide the consistency required to make a lasting impact in school food programs. 

Members Naomi Robert and Mayor of Cumberland Vickey Brown have been collaborating on recommendations to update the Village of Cumberland’s OCP to include comprehensive Food Systems Policies.

December 2023


This month, the CVFPC:

  • Consulted with the Town of Comox Planning Department regarding a new proposed development. Recommendations included protection of ALR buffers, consideration of impact from parking areas and additional food growing opportunities.
  • Through the CVRD, submitted an application to the IAF Food Security Emergency Planning and Preparedness Fund to map food flows and community food storage assets in Comox Valley and Northern Island Communities to inform Emergency planning. There were five letters of support from the community!
  • Member Kimberly Toonders and School Food Subcommittee member Megan Cowling worked alongside the National Coalition for Healthy School Food to promote, fill and send a federal petition to Ottawa for our region and encouraged our local MPs, Rachel Blaney and Gord Johns, to read it in the House of Commons. The federal petition calls upon the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to prioritize funding for a National School Food Program through Budget 2024 for implementation in schools by Fall 2024.

October 2023


Hosted a tour of LUSH facilities for the group and the CVRD’s economic development staff. Presented an alternate food-hub proposal to the group.

September 2023


Continued engaging with the regional Food Hub Stewardship group.

April 2023


Worked with partners on PlanH Healthy Public Policy grant application (Equity in Public Policy), which was successful and will support the CVFPC’s Food Supply and Municipal Planning subcommittee’s work.

January 2023


Relaunched the School Food Subcommittee with new and broader membership-clarified priorities, goals and action items.

November 2022



Wrote letters to all three municipalities, CVRD, and School Board for new appointments of elected officials to the CVFPC. All agreed and several new members were appointed.



This month, the CVFPC:

  • Worked with K’ómoks First Nation on a Traditional Food Reconciliation Feast that was held on October 13, 2022.
  • Continued to engage with the Food Hub Stewardship Group and hosted them for a tour of LUSH Valley’s facilities.
  • Recruited and on-boarded 6 new members, including members from: K’ómoks First Nation, Island Health, Comox Valley Farmers’ Institute, and the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market.
  • Communicated with potential contractors and the Ministry of Agriculture regarding an Island-wide survey of food assets in the case of an emergency.
  • Discussed and prepared for the CVRD Agriculture Area Plan. This includes 3 members applying to be on the advisory and some members setting up interviews with the contract algologist.
  • Prepared to re-launch the School Food Subcommittee. Had discussions regarding the Student Affordability fund with SD71, as well as discussions with the Provincial Coordinator for the Coalition for Healthy School Food. With new funding from the province and schools engaged in new food programs across the region, plus engagement from SD71, the Subcommittee is set to re-launch.

September 2022


The CVFPC created two questions for an All Candidates forum Focused on the Social Determinants of Health. These questions were focused on food security and food systems. CVFPC members who were running for the election were not part of this process.

Also this month, the CVFPC requested and received permission from K’ómoks Chief and Council to support a member to join the CVFPC and work together on a reconciliation feast.

This month, the CVFPC were a part of an ‘Envisioning session’ for the establishment of Piercy Creek Farm.

JULY 2022


Members met for an in-person meeting—the first one as a group since March 2020! During this meeting, the new CVFPC logo was finalized.

Also this month, the CVFPC worked with partners on a Plan H grant application, which was successful. 



The CVFPC turned two! This month, the Council submitted two letters to the Mayor and Council of the Town of Comox supporting Urban Agriculture rezoning amendments that included support for hen-keeping without lot size restrictions, as well as a request that greenhouses be allowed on front lawns. The CVFPC actively encouraged others to attend and speak at the Public Hearing as well.



In partnership with LUSH Valley, the CVFPC sent an “Eat Think, Vote” questionnaire to All Candidates in the North Island-Powell River and Courtenay-Alberni ridings in preparation for the federal election. The short questionnaire covered school food, supporting local food production, Indigenous food sources, food security, and food sovereignty. Click here to view the results.



School Food Learning Circle Report finalized by CVFPC member Jenn Meilleur.

JUNE 2021


The CVFPC supported the development of Urban Agriculture policies municipally in Courtenay and Comox. The City of Courtenay held a public hearing on June 23, 2021 to discuss “bylaw amendments to allow urban agriculture in the form of produce sales stands, raising of honeybees and raising of hens throughout the City.”

MAY 2021


The CVFPC became a member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food and drafted a letter to be sent to local government, encouraging them to join.

The CVFPC also finalized a letter in support of the Restaurant Association of BC, outlining the impact of the pandemic on local eateries and food systems.

In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Fisheries, the CVRD developed a feasibility study and business plan for a Comox Valley Food Hub. The CVFPC supported this work through advocacy and promotion, while also providing recommendations.



Council members Vickey Brown and James McKerricher met with Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns to discuss local food aggregation in the Comox Valley and to discuss how the federal government can support food security efforts. Also discusses was the importance of community markets and the impact of the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program.



Advocacy efforts over the summer brought about a resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities to ensure that Community Food Security efforts be embedded into the provincial emergency response.

JULY 2020


The CVFPC participated in consultation with the City of Courtenay on their Official Community Plan (OCP). Priorities identified by the council included:

  • Food storage and preparation areas in commercial facilities
  • Integrating more food into all growing areas (urban agriculture, edible landscaping, converting empty lots into food growing)
  • Habitat restoration: taking a holistic view to include more native planting
  • Improved water conservation efforts

The City of Courtenay’s OCP is currently under review. A Draft OCP is expected to be available for public review in the Summer of 2021.

JUNE 2020


The Food Literacy Subcommittee opened their meetings to include members of the Farm to School Learning Circle. Farm to School BC “brings healthy, local and sustainable food into schools and provides students with hands-on learning opportunities that develop food literacy, all while strengthening strengthening the local food system and enhancing school and community connectedness.”

Throughout June, CVFPC continued to share current food security information on a regular basis.

MAY 2020

Throughout the month, LUSH Valley and members of the CVFPC provided food supply and food security briefings to all elected officials in our region. On a weekly basis, the CVFPC shared up-to-date information on the state of food security regionally, provincially and globally.

april 2020


On April 22, the CVFPC co-hosted a farmers meeting to understand the needs of food growers at this time. Results from this meeting can be found here.

Before the pandemic hit, the CVFPC hosted a strategic planning session to clarify priorities and disperse into subcommittees. Since then, the CVFPC has re-evaluated and finalized these subcommittee divisions as follows:

The Food Supply Disruption Subcommittee with the purpose of:

  1. Understanding our food supply globally and locally, during the pandemic
  2. Advocating for emergency response and government to add food security and food supply issues to their agendas
  3. Helping to ensure that food supply and food security planning is part of any and all emergency responses in the future

The Municipal Policy Subcommittee with the purpose of:

  1. Supporting requests for urban agriculture policy in the Town of Comox and the City of Courtenay

March 2020


In March 2020, the CVFPC started meeting twice monthly to mobilize an emergency response and to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable had sound access to food.

On March 30, 2020 a press release stated:

“LUSH Valley Food Action Society and the Comox Valley Food Policy Council have been working on an emergency food accessibility response to the [then emerging] pandemic. In early March, when food hoarding and panic buying was resulting in food shortages for the most vulnerable in our community, we mobilized to find donations of food to bring to the Comox Valley Food Bank, Comox Valley Family Services, tenants at the Washington Apartments and other Social Service agencies in need.

“The necessarily collaborative nature of this response cannot be understated” said LUSH Valley’s Executive Director, Maurita Prato. “This type of mobilized response could not have been possible without the co-operation of the Comox Valley Food Policy Council, the Coalition to End Homelessness, the Community Health Network and countless other partner agencies and supporters across the region. The power of these relationships, and the generosity of all involved has given me great hope in this very difficult time”.”

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