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Lillooet food security forum draws interest

Lillooet Food Matters event narrows down priorities for residents



A food security forum aimed at reducing Lillooet's dependence on outside food sources drew around 100 interested participants at its meeting last month.

The event, titled "Bringing our Food Back Home," was geared towards educating local populations on how to grow their own food, the importance of supporting local farmers and how to address the disconnect between residents and the fertile land they live on. Organizer Gillian Smith said as an awareness raising event and community planning process, the forum was a success.

"Many people afterwards spoke of the incredibly positive energy that was generated by the event, with the intricate displays, the guest speakers and the discussions that followed," she said.

"It also ended up being a good venue for networking, with people coming from as far away as 100 Mile House, Vancouver and Salmon Arm."

A number of key priorities were outlined over the course of the day, including food security education for all; improvements to farmers' markets; policy changes that support local agriculture and food security initiatives; improved networking to promote a common vision of a food secure community; and gleaning - the picking, using and distributing of extra fruit and vegetables.

Tables displaying information on food preserving, canning, drying and processing were set up for the event and a number of speakers presented on topics such as seed saving, the history of food growing in the region and how to effect policy change through regional government.

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