By Derek Leahy, Eat Think Vote Campaigns Coordinator
Can food be an election issue? Canadian elections are usually dominated by heated debates around jobs and the economy, but rarely is the food we eat and how it grows a ‘hot’ issue.
Food Secure Canada, a coalition of farmers, food banks, health advocates and community food organizations think food should be an election issue. Earlier this summer, the coalition launched the Eat Think Vote campaign to make food an issue in the upcoming federal election.
What is Eat Think Vote?
The campaign is organizing a series of events (over 50 so far) across Canada for federal candidates and the public to discuss Canada’s Most Pressing Food Issues. Eat Think Vote events will take place on farms and farmers markets, community food centres, universities and even harvest festivals. Many of the events are serving up local sustainably produced delights so the issue at hand – food – can be shared and enjoyed.
As a non-partisan campaign, all candidates and Canadians from all walks of life are invited to take part in these vital discussions on our food system. Eat Think Vote is also a call for a National Food Policy in Canada where no one goes hungry and all Canadians have access to healthy and sustainable food.
Ready to Get Involved!?
There are many ways you can ‘eat think vote’ before Election Day on October 19th. Organizing an event in your community is just one of them. Here are three more:
- Find an Eat Think Vote event in your community and play a role in the discussion on nutritious and affordable food.
- Sign and share online the petition calling for a national food policy in Canada. Eat Think Vote needs to reach 10,000 petition signatures by Election Day. After the election, Food Secure Canada will personally handover the petition to the new federal government.
- Call your candidates and tell them why the food issues Eat Think Vote has highlighted should be federal priorities. Here’s a list of question you can ask your candidates to find out where they stand on the issues.
And then there’s good old social media, a great way to spread the word about Eat Think Vote. Like Food Secure Canada’s Facebook Page and tweet @FoodSecureCAN #EatThinkVote to help build momentum around the campaign.
Canadians think food concerns should have a place in this federal election. The success of the campaign depends on Canadians like you stepping up to the plate and becoming a strong voice for those concerns.
Together we can make food an election issue.
Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada, on Eat Think Vote:
“Food is a great conversation starter and having food at Eat Think Vote events takes the edge off a bit as well. The important thing is communities across the country will be coming together to tell federal candidates why we need fresh new thinking in Ottawa in order to create a healthy, sustainable food system that feeds all Canadians”
Eat Think Vote is calling for a national food policy in Canada delivering:
- Healthy school food
- Affordable food in the North
- Support for new farmers
- Zero hunger in Canada
Federal candidates are being asked to answer the Eat Think Vote candidates’ question to show their support for such a policy.
Give the campaign a shout-out on social media: #EatThinkVote, #JeMangeDoncJeVote @FoodSecureCAN