What is a Community-Led Food Assessment? (CLFA)
A community-led food assessment (CFLA) is a process that examines all of the issues affecting access to food in an area. Residents come together to identify areas for improvement and to develop solutions that work for them.
Food First NL is now coordinating CLFAs in three Inuit communities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador: Rigolet, Nain and Hopedale as part of the project NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni: Our Food in Nunatsiavut. Learn more about this project here.
To guide this work, Food First NL created a Community-led Food Assessment guide for Inuit Communities in partnership with Trent University, which you can download here:
“The term ‘community-led’ is an important part of what makes all of these projects unique,” says Food First NL Executive Director Kristie Jameson. “With a community-led food assessment the discussion and decision-making is happening in the community where the program is taking place, by the people involved. People understand their community’s strengths and know where things need to improve, and they’re best equipped to develop solutions that will work locally.”
A community-led food assessment is led by community members for the community. They are:
- Collaborative — people involved work together to make decisions and find solutions;
- Participatory — all residents of the community have the opportunity to participate in the assessment; and
- Community Owned — information gathered and actions implemented from the assessment are shared and owned by the community.
Previous CLFAs in Newfoundland and Labrador
In 2009, with funding from the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Food First NL partnered with the Hopedale Inuit Community Government and Nunatsiavut Government to pilot the BC Community Food Assessment Guide in collaboration with the community of Hopedale. This project, titled NiKigijavut Hopedalimi (Our Food in Hopedale), resulted in a clear, community-appropriate, and feasible food action plan outlining the priorities of the community and opportunities for action.
To read more about the approach and results of the NiKigijavut Hopedalimi project download:
In 2010-2011, with funding from the Department of Health and Community Services, FSN coordinated three regional CLFAs in the Burin Peninsula, Labrador West, and the Upper Lake Melville Region.
Local coordinators were hired and steering committees were set-up in each region to coordinate and lead the work. Community members from each region were engaged in consultations, surveys, and interviews, to inform the creation of regional food reports and action plans.
In Upper Lake Melville, this project resulted in:
- 2 new community gardens, including one children’s garden;
- 2 new community kitchen programs;
- a Farmers’ Market in Happy Valley-Goose Bay; and
- 2 school seedling initiatives which grow transplants for the children’s community garden.
This project increased the profile of food security issues in each region, as well as community dialogue and engagement with food security.
Download the final reports: