Food Security is having a reliable source of enough food to survive and thrive.
One of my motivations for creating the Food Connection Network is to offer advice and options to help organizations such as orphanages achieve a level of food security.
The following suggestions provide a roadmap to filling food needs while minimizing the reliance on money donations alone.
The intention here is to provide an introduction to ideas and build out to detailed posts on each with links to information, resources, and related projects. The information will grow over time.
Easy First Steps
Here are some things you can do to provide food starting with few requirement for space or investments.
All you need to start sprouting seeds inside is a container such as a jar, some clean water, and seeds.
Popular seeds include Alfalfa, Green Kale, Red Clover, Fenugreek, Crimson Lentils, Mung Beans, Oriental Mustard, Green Peas, Sunflower, Wheat Berries, Daikon Radish and more.
Growing microgreens has become very popular with restaurants and can increase food security.
Similar to sprouting seeds, microgreens are small plants that can grow in a little soil in small containers inside or outside.
Say you live in an apartment or have limited space for gardens. You can grow a surprising amount of food in buckets, planters, and other containers that can be moved.
Any vertical wall or fence can become an efficient growing space. The idea is to plant into rows of pockets to create a living wall that can provide food.
Small Garden Plots
Do you have grass or areas of dirt or gravel that could be used to grow food?
A little work and some soil can provide fertile space to grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
Greenhouses and Cold-frames
Structures such as greenhouses and cold-frames can help extend your growing season and provide high production.
Backyard Chickens and Other Animals
Many cities allow a small number of hens in backyards to provide eggs.
Some rural areas may permit raising animals such as chickens, goats, and rabbits for food.
There is a new trend towards raising edible insects.
The world needs more bees and protection for bee habitats. Some cities will allow beehives to produce honey.
The next items involve working with other people and groups.
A growing number of communities provide space for community gardens. Often these are raised planter boxes assigned to individuals.
Urban Farming On Public Spaces
I have been involved with a number of projects in North Vancouver and there are some large projects around the world that take public space to grow fruits and vegetables.
Local farmers markets provide an opportunity for people to enjoy local goods and provide an outlet for local producers.
Food festivals can provide a fabulous way to put people who enjoy food with producers and organizations that celebrate food and help with food security.
Cooperative Food Projects
Cooperative Food Projects often involve multiple organizations and many volunteers to make work.
A shocking amount of food goes uneaten.
Edible produce is left in the field.
Much edible food is culled for cosmetic reasons.
Unsold or aging stock on shelves is discarded.
Spoiled or unwanted food is tossed from fridges.
Restaurants and caterers discard leftover food.
And yet there are many people and organizations that could use the food.
Here are some of the ways food rescue projects can redirect food that may end up in landfills to help feed people:
- Use food donated by grocery stores to provide meals for school food programs.
- Donate to food banks and soup community meal programs.
- Donate food to orphanages.
- Process the food for freezing for use in community food projects.
- Composting what cannot be eaten to help grow more food.
- Package recovered food for humanitarian aid projects.
- More …
There are many moving parts in a comprehensive food rescue program. Large scale solutions may require some form of Food Hub to provide some or all of the following:
- Commercial grade kitchen facilities.
- Food processing and packaging.
- Refrigeration and cold storage.
- Distribution support.
- Market stalls.
Want to Help?
Here are some of the many ways you can help improve food security for yourself and others:
- Grow your own food.
- Donate excess food.
- Volunteer for food security projects in your community.
- Subscribe to our Food Connection Network Newsletter.
- Contribute content and suggestions for this site. I especially want to know about related projects anywhere in the world.
- Consider sponsoring or otherwise supporting Food Connection Network.
Keep in touch.