The newly-formed Sentinel Educational Foundation presented its first public event – a zoom-based discussion on Food System Security in the Comox Valley, on October 3, 2022. The last couple of years have shown us how fragile the networks that deliver our essentials (and non-essentials) can be, from snow storms to war, to drought and climate crisis.
Maurita Prato and James McKerricher of Lush Valley Food Action and Arzeena Hamir of Amara Farm discuss the local food situation, how vulnerable our Comox Valley food system is, its strengths, and what’s needed from the perspective of food production and food distribution.
- B.C.’s Food Self-Reliance: Can B.C.’s Farmers Feed Our Growing Population?
- Local Food for Comox Valley K-12 Schools: an Aggregation Feasibility Report and Business Plan
- Food Flows in Metro Vancouver
- Comox Valley Food Security Presentation: Arzeena Hamir
- Food System Security in the Comox Valley Presentation
Arzeena Hamir, Amara Farm
Arzeena is a certified organic vegetable and fruit farmer in the Comox Valley. She was also elected to the Comox Valley Regional District in 2018 where she is Director for Area B and Vice Chair. Arzeena began her farming career back in 2008 in Richmond after completing her Master’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture and living overseas for a number of years. Upon moving to the Comox Valley in 2012, she and her husband started Amara Farm and, seeing the lack of supports for small-scale growers, started the Mid Island Farmer’s Institute in 2016. An advocate for food security, climate resilience and regenerative farming. Arzeena also sits on the Boards of Young Agrarians, Farm to Cafeteria Canada, and the Columbia Institute.
Maurita Prato, LUSH Valley
Maurita believes that food systems have the ability to heal people, communities and the earth. For over 5 years she has worked as the Executive Director of LUSH Valley Food Action Society and as the Coordinator of the CV Food Policy Council for the last 3. She has a background in organic farming, school garden coordination and working as an Instructor of food and politics courses at Pacific Rim College. She holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability. She loves living in the Comox Valley with her family and big urban garden.
James McKerricher, LUSH Valley
In his role of Food Access Manager for LUSH Valley Food Action Society, James works closely with Comox Valley farmers to support local food production and strengthen our local food system. Alongside his work with LUSH Valley, James runs The Farmer’s Kitchen Food Truck which collaborates with local farmers to produce creative and vibrant street food. James has a background in cooking and has worked as a Chef in a variety of locations. He is motivated by the gustatory pleasures of the Comox Valley and a desire to make the joy of delicious local food more accessible for all.
This event was presented with the help of Watershed Sentinel magazine. For more information, phone 250-339-6117