Chatham-Kent is an agricultural community. Food is a large part of economy, our past, our present, and our future. Despite our long history of producing fruits and vegetables for the nation, it seems they are not making it to the plates of our residents. Chatham-Kent has the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption in Ontario. And to top is off we have a low rate of self-reported food skills in addition to exceeding the Ontario average for both overweight and obese individuals at 63% (53% for Ontario) and those with diagnosed diabetes at 8.6% (6.8% Ontario) (Statistics Canada, 2012).
It is time to make some real changes around food and look at how we can create a more sustainable food system and increase personal food security for the people of Chatham-Kent.