The Maple Leaf Center for Action on Food Security hosted its first food security symposium on March 28, bringing together over 160 participants representing a broad range of skills, experience and interests from across Canada and globally.
"For too long, non-profit organizations and other civil society groups have largely borne responsibility for the intractable problem of hunger in our country," said Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods and Honorary Chair of the Center. "We need more inclusive efforts that bring civil society, business, academics and government together, to deliver critical social policies that reduce poverty, advance a more sustainable food system, and optimize our resources so that all Canadians can access healthy food."
The Symposium included speakers and panelists on topics including the importance of reframing the issue as poverty, not food; the right to food as a legal principle; strategies and challenges in scaling organizations advancing food security; and the role of business through a panel of CEOs including Sarah Davis, President of the Loblaw Group of Companies, Barry Telford, President and CEO of Sodexo Canada, and Michael McCain.
The afternoon focused on social policy that supports or impeded progress; and speakers from the Ontario and federal governments including Tom Rosser, Associate Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada who is leading the development of a national food policy for Canada and Karen Glass, Associate Deputy Minister for the Ontario Poverty Reduction Office, who is leading the development of a poverty reduction strategy.