Image copyright PA Image caption The plan is aimed at helping Black people know how to eat better
Toronto’s Black community has voted to come together and create its own food sovereignty plan.
A petition and the creation of a local Black food justice board helped win the support of over 90% of the Black community.
The plan is aimed at helping Black people learn how to eat better and make better choices when buying food.
The City of Toronto has accepted the agreement, which will see a co-ordinated food justice campaign.
Black people in the city are the most food insecure in North America.
The petition, signed by around 20,000 people, called for the creation of an accountability and community governance board to help overcome this problem.
“Our plan is to take control and together find a way of making sure we’re eating better, more healthily, making smart decisions when we go to the supermarket, making sure we do more of what we know we need to do,” said Antonio West, who helped come up with the proposal.
Image copyright PA Image caption “We’re going to start on ensuring we’re cooking the food and making those decisions ourselves” said Antonio West
On Thursday at the Black Health and Research Summit, Malcolm Gordon said the black community is an organic food system that should be rooted in the Black community, using the food justice movement as an example.
“We are the food and nutrition that flow out of our soil,” said Mr Gordon.
“Food is the root of everything. No matter where you are, no matter who you are, food is the ground we stand on.”
“When we have food sovereignty, it should be part of our long-term plan, but we’re using this model for now, we’re starting on making sure we’re cooking the food and making those decisions ourselves,” Mr West said.
Since the Black community voted to form their own food sovereignty committee in 2017, the movement has grown in leaps and bounds.
After a year of growing steadily, in December 2018, the leaders met to draw up a series of goals, outlining what the Black community wants to achieve.
Among the plans, included in the final plan was to create a mental health initiative to help people who are having trouble managing their emotions and feelings.
Image copyright PA Image caption “We also want to help our men and our sons with their feelings as well” said Antonio West
Image copyright PA Image caption “The thing about Black cultural experience is, we need to wrap our culture and everything else with that”
The initiative will also include an initiative aimed at creating a collective business where people can share their knowledge and experiences.
Many of the leaders attended the summit to share their ideas with other Black people in a bid to challenge misinformation, prejudice and negative attitudes, saying they can be improved if something can be done about them.
“We’re an important part of the system, we’re people,” said Mr West.
“If we’re advocating for Black people, saying ‘Listen, we need to be part of the system, but we also want to be part of the system’s healing processes’, I think we’re a valuable part of the system.
“We’re going to start on ensuring we’re cooking the food and making those decisions ourselves.”