Food Security Hubs are a key component of VIHAs Community Food Action Initiative. Since 2006, several community agencies across the Island have emerged as leaders in food security planning within their jurisdictions. In 2008 VIHA began to provide a small amount of ongoing funding to these lead agencies to bolster their role as networking “Hubs” in their regions. Agencies receiving this type of funding are referred to as “Food Security Hubs”.
Food Security Hubs act as connectors and leaders within a region – identifying opportunities for collaboration and alignment between the many stakeholders who are working to improve food security in the region. The coordination and animation provided by Food Security Hubs supports collective action toward a common set of goals and priorities for a region and improves the capacity of stakeholders to address their own aims related to food security.
VIHA provides funding to these agencies to develop networks of local food security stakeholders, to facilitate dialogue across the region and to collaborate with other Hubs across the island.
Established Hubs exist in the Capital Region, the Cowichan Valley, the Nanaimo region and the Comox Valley. Currently, VIHA is collaborating with several communities to explore how it can support this networking Hub role in regions which do not currently have funded Food Security Hubs.
A Food Security Hub Agency is guided by a Food Action Committee, which is open to membership from a diverse range of stakeholders including;
The diagram below shows how the relationship between the Food Action Committee and the Hub Agency = the Food Security Hub
How does a Food Security Hub Develop?
Stage 1: A process of stakeholder engagement to identify assets and to assess need, interest and commitment across the region to collaborate on food security action planning.
Stage 2: Collaborative, multi-stakeholder development of a regional Community Food Action Plan to determine common goals and priorities for food security work across the region.
Stage 3: Formal establishment of a Food Action Committee to move the Action Plan forward.
Stage 4: Identification of an existing organization in the region that could function as a Food Security Hub Agency.
With support of a modest amount CFAI funding this Hub Agency would dedicate staff time to carry out the leadership, networking and communication activities outlined in the VIHA Food Security Hub logic model. Financially, The Hub Agency would operate independently of this CFAI Hub funding; the funding would be supplementary to the Agency’s existing resources in order to support the efforts required to play an enhanced role in food security leadership for the region.