On April 3, scholars from the Arrell Food Institute and Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) program who participated in the UNIV 6050 course presented the agri-food-related projects they completed in collaboration with their community partners. The scholars carried out their projects in partnership with Food Day Canada, 10C, the City of Charlottetown, the Grain Farmers of Ontario, and Noki Farms.
The first group partnered with Food Day Canada to enhance the celebration of Canadian food. The students aimed to preserve the community and cultural values of Food Day Canada while increasing its popularity in the future.
The second group collaborated with 10C and Our Food Future, organizations based in Guelph, to update Guelph-Wellington’s food charter. They conducted stakeholder interviews and community surveys to ensure the charter was aligned to achieve sustainable and resilient food systems.
The third group worked with the city of Charlottetown to create an assessment plan for the city’s food system. The students identified the need to update food access policies in the face of urban growth and worked to develop an inclusive assessment plan with input from key stakeholders.
“Our project with Charlottetown taught us that good solutions require collaboration between many perspectives,” said a group member.
The fourth group collaborated with the Grain Farmers of Ontario on the project “Looking Forward: The Future of Ontario Grain,” which aimed to address disruptions in the grain production and supply chain, providing valuable information for grain farmers in the province.
The final group worked with Noki Farms, based in Guelph, to integrate their locally produced mushrooms and microgreens into the Guelph food system.
“Local production is vital to sustainable communities, and with this project, we wanted to utilize Guelph’s love for local food,” said a group member.
The UNIV 6050 course aims to provide scholars a unique experience of working with industry partners and building knowledge in business development, communication, social innovation, project management, and entrepreneurship.
“This experience was entirely different than the usual thesis stream material. It encouraged professionalism and creativity while teaching us to learn in a completely different environment,” said a student from the Charlottetown group.
Learn more about HQP and AFI scholars’ community-engaged projects at https://arrellfoodinstitute.ca/community-partnerships/