Food Literacy Month

Food Literacy Month Logo

One of the goals for Hamilton’s Food Strategy is to increase food literacy to promote healthy eating and empower all Hamiltonians. To help reach this goal, the Hamilton Food Literacy Network launched the first annual Hamilton Food Literacy Month in October 2018.

Hamilton Food Literacy Network

The Hamilton Food Literacy Network is a coalition of Hamilton partners who are involved in food literacy actions – from growing food, preparing food, to providing food and nutrition education programs. The Network is open to anyone interested in capacity building, information sharing, and enhancing Hamiltonians’ ability to access community-based food literacy programs. The Network, along with Public Health Dietitians, host Hamilton Food Literacy Month to showcase food inspired events that encourage everyone to get out, connect with other people who are passionate about food, and explore our City.

Food Literacy

Food literacy includes interconnected attributes organized into five categories:

  • Food and Nutrition Knowledge about healthy eating, where food comes from, and understanding how nutrition can affect health
  • Food Skills to be able to prepare healthy and safe meals
  • Self-efficacy and Confidence to believe and apply knowledge and skills to prepare and choose healthy food choices
  • Ecological (external) factors, such as the food system, culture or socio-economic status that influence eating
  • Food Decisions that shape eating behaviour

Food Literacy Month

The Hamilton Food Strategy vision is “a city with a sustainable food system where all people at all times have economic and physical access to enough safe, nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences.” One of the four goals of the Food Strategy is to “increase food literacy to promote healthy eating and empower all residents.” Food Literacy Month celebrates and promotes our community working toward this vision and goal by providing a platform to showcase food literacy activities, events, and/or celebrations throughout the City of Hamilton.

Become a Partner in Food Literacy

The Hamilton Food Literacy Network is excited to announce our second annual Food Literacy Month is happening this October. Food Literacy Month promotes healthy eating and empowers residents through various food inspired activities. In 2018, there were 70 activities registered, and we hope to match or surpass that number in 2019! By registering your activity, you will be a partner in promoting food literacy along with the City of Hamilton, local organizations, and community members from all parts of the food system.

Activities are encouraged to:

  • Be free or reasonably priced
  • Be accessible/welcoming to all
  • Appeal to children/families
  • Engage the broader community
  • Contribute to building food friendly neighbourhoods and empowering eaters and communities

Your Food Literacy Month activity could be big or small, already happening, or something new, such as a:

  • cooking demonstration
  • pop up food market
  • food skills and/or nutrition education workshop
  • community meal
  • farm and food garden tour
  • photo contest

Be part of this growing movement by creating and registering a food themed activity that aligns with the following criteria:

  • Promote Food Literacy Month themes of building:
    • Food & nutrition knowledge
    • Food & cooking skills
    • Confidence to make healthy food choices
    • Positive attitudes toward food and eating
    • Awareness of how our decisions about food are impacted by the food system, and how the food system influences our decisions
  • Celebrate or explore food by highlighting one or more parts the food system: growing food, processing & distributing food, buying; selling food, eating/consumption, and/or food waste
  • Celebrate food as central to both culture and community

There are many food-themed activities you can do to participate in Food Literacy Month. Here are examples from 2018:

  • Hamilton Public Library adapted their ongoing family Storytime programming for Food Literacy Month by featuring food-related children’s books
  • Neighbour to Neighbour and Green Venture partnered to educate youth at the Hamilton Community Food Centre about vermicomposting using red wigglers, reducing food waste, and promoting composting
  • The Aboriginal Health Centre Registered Dietitian and Traditional Healing Coordinators organized an interactive cooking demo on Traditional Corn Soup
  • Students at Mohawk College created a “how to” video about homemade mason jar meals

Register Your Food Literacy Month Activity

Everyone and anyone can host an activity as long as it meets the criteria.
Register your event by September 9th to be added to the event listings. Once you submit your application, the Hamilton Food Literacy Network will review the information and confirm your registration using the email or phone number you provide on the application. Once approved, your activity and organization will be included in the event listings. We encourage you to register your event as early as possible to be included in promotional material and social media promotions. You are also encouraged to do your own promotion to drive people to join your activity.

Please submit a completed application, edits may not be possible once submitted. To help you prepare, here are some important event details to confirm before registering:

  • What is your event? Describe your activity or event including the purpose, list anything you might want participants to bring
  • What is the date and time of your activity?
  • How does your activity align with the Food Literacy Month criteria?
  • Who should attend your activity/event, for example, children, families, or another group?
  • Is there a cost to participate or is it free?

Button "apply online"

Once you've registered your event for Food Literacy Month, you should promote it! As a partner, one of the biggest ways you can help promote food literacy is by getting the word out to your network about Food Literacy Month. To help support the promotion of Food Literacy Month, the Hamilton Food Literacy Network has a NEW Facebook page @HamiltonFoodLiteracyNetwork.

We encourage you to direct your audience to the Facebook page and this Food Literacy Month page for the full list of activities, events, and celebrations for participants to explore. We encourage you to promote your events through various social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and through your newsletters. For example, create a Facebook event for your Food Literacy Month activity and use online events page calendars to promote (e.g., Hamilton Spectator events page or on KX 94.7).

The following are conventional media or social media promotional ideas that can be used:

  • Share why your organization chose to be a partner. Tell your story. What does mean to you to be a partner? What does Food Literacy mean to you?
  • Highlight what your organization is doing in October for Food Literacy Month. Promote any activities, events, and celebrations associated with your organization.
  • Create Facebook events and share posts of other food activities happening around the city
  • Don’t forget to hashtag when you post about Food Literacy Month Hamilton and watch for other partner’s postings to support and share: #hammerfoodlit #foodliteracymonthhamilton #HamONT #foodislit
  • Don’t forget to use the Hamilton Food Literacy Month logo when promoting your food literacy activity or event. Download the Hamilton Food Literacy Month logo.

If you need additional content for your newsletters, blog, or website please contact us and we will work with you to develop that content. If you also have any any additional questions about messaging, social media, or other details about Food Literacy Month, please email us at foodstrategy@hamilton.ca

We encourage you to capture your Food Literacy Month activity through photography. Please be sure you have the permission of the participants before taking photos of people’s faces. Download a sample photo release form.

You can also post a sign at your evetn that reads:
By taking part in this event you grant the event organizers full rights to use the images resulting from the photography/video filming, and any reproductions or adaptations of the images for fundraising, publicity or other purposes to help achieve the group’s aims. This might include (but is not limited to), the right to use them in their printed and online publicity, social media, press releases, and funding applications. If you do not wish to be photographed please inform an event organizer.

Contact us

For further information about Food Literacy Month contact:
Ruby Samra
Email ruby.samra@hamilton.ca
@HamiltonFoodLiteracyNetwork