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Food charter survey available

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The Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op's food charter project is a step closer to completion now that its online survey is available.

Being run in partnership with Lakehead University's Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, the Northwestern Health Unit, local municipalities, and other organizations across the region, the goal is to create a food charter for the Kenora and Rainy River Districts—the area served by Cloverbelt.

A food charter is an overall vision or plan for a region that guides policy and decision-making to ensure a vibrant and resilient local food system.

Municipalities and other organizations can use the food charter to understand what the community wants when it comes to local food, and hopefully support those desires with policy.

The online survey offers a chance for area residents to have their input before the food charter is drafted.

It consists of 34 questions, including where consumers currently get their food, what food concerns are important, and what should be emphasized in the charter.

The questions were developed to build on the information gathered during the roughly 30 focus group sessions held throughout the two districts earlier this year.

Cloverbelt and its partners will use the survey answers, along with the focus group feedback, to create the charter.

It is hoping to get responses from across Northwestern Ontario to ensure a wide variety of viewpoints.

Everyone who answers the survey also will have their name entered in a draw for 10 $50 gift certificates toward the purchase of Cloverbelt food to be drawn on Dec. 15.

Responses to the survey are confidential and specific comments won't be able to be connected back to the individual.

The name of the respondents' community will be the only thing made public as the five communities with the highest number of participants will be featured in the CLFC newsletter.

The survey, along with more information, can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Regionalfoodcharter

In related news, a Cloverbelt members' meeting will be held next Tuesday (Nov. 14) from 7-9 p.m. at the Emo Museum, which will be open to the public, as well.

Anyone interested in becoming a member, or learning more about the food co-op, is encouraged to attend.

During the meeting, an announcement will be made about the Emo hub start date, along with a detailed explanation of how Cloverbelt expects to operate there.

There also will be a discussion about plans going forward for a hub in Fort Frances.

Those planning to attend are asked to R.S.V.P. to Anita Marcotte, the Rainy River District community co-ordinator, at clfc.rainyriverdistrict@gmail.com

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