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Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District gets funding for food security

Regional district will use $223,655 to conduct a two-phase study on food security needs

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) has received a grant to conduct a study on food security.

The grant, for $223,655, was awarded through the Investment Agriculture Foundation and will allow the ACRD to conduct a two-phase study on food security needs in relation to emergency planning and preparedness.

The ACRD says this will be a collaborative project and will involve partnerships with local First Nations, other municipalities and the City of Port Alberni.

“Living on an island means we must focus on food security to ensure we are more self-sufficient and prepared than we currently are, especially in the case of an emergency that may leave some communities cut off from suppliers,” said John Jack, chair of the ACRD board of directors. “We hope to work with all interested collaborators to identify specific gaps in food security and emergency management for both short-term emergency events and long-term capacity building.”

The first phase of the project will focus on developing a livestock emergency plan for the Alberni Valley. This is required under the new Emergency and Disaster Management Act that came into effect last November.

READ MORE: B.C. passes new legislation aimed at preparing for and mitigating emergencies

This first phase will also explore food security concerns and needs in the City of Port Alberni and Alberni Valley electoral areas. City council has already passed a resolution to partner with the ACRD on this project.

“Food security and emergency management is a regional issue that concerns us all,” said Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. “The need for this plan became clear to all of us following the Cameron Lake wildfire last summer. As we head into a summer with only a fraction of our usual snowpack, the city is excited to have the opportunity to work in collaboration with the ACRD and other interested organizations and First Nations to address this timely issue.”

The second phase will explore concepts of food security on the West Coast, including aquaculture, nontraditional food production and Indigenous food sovereignty.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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