Project I of the Understanding Our Food Systems project set out to engage with the fourteen First Nation communities to better understand the food needs in each community. It has been determined that although these communities are located on accessible highways that they all face high levels of food insecurity and limited access to fresh, healthy and culturally appropriate food.
Project I consisted of a series of community visits and collecting information on existing community food initiatives, services, food sources, food delivery routes and barriers. These visits were conducted from December 2017 to March 2018. A regional gathering was held on March 28-29, 2018 in Thunder Bay that included related presentations, network building and knowledge sharing. Through a brief planning exercise at the gathering seven common themes were identified, and each of the communities began preliminary work on individual community food plans.