CHEP works with children, families and communities to improve access to good food and promote food security.
CHEP believes that food is a basic right and that a community development approach that brings people together around good food is necessary to fulfill our mission.
CHEP's vision is for a food secure community. This is defined as a situation both globally and locally in which:
- Everyone has assured access to adequate, appropriate and personally acceptable food in a way that promotes health, respect and dignity;
- People are able to earn a living wage by growing, producing, processing, handling, retailing and serving food;
- The quality of land, air, and water is maintained and enhanced for future generations;
- Food is celebrated as central to community and cultural integrity.
Goals of the Organization
The five goals that we aim to meet through our programs are:
- To improve access to healthy affordable food;
- To support people and communities in developing skills and building capacity;
- To work towards a sustainable food system;
- To develop and nurture strong partnerships, and,
- To develop sustainable social enterprise ventures that support our vision.
Food Security for Children
CHEP Good Food Inc. believes that every child deserves to have the healthy foods needed to learn and grow. We support children's nutrition programs in Saskatoon as well as work with schools, nutrition coordinators and other community liaisons in providing the most current food education, tips for the kitchen, and methods to maximize efficiency in their own nutrition programs.
CHEP Good Food Inc. works in partnership with three Saskatoon School Divisions and numerous other organizations and groups to provide services and programming to Saskatoon children to ensure they have access to healthy, nutritious foods. This is accomplished through our programs such as: Fresh Food for Kids bulk buying and delivery program; CHEP’s Community markets; fresh salad bar buffets at schools; our “Big Crunch” event to educate students on the importance of eating fresh foods; as well as through afterschool Kid’s Kitchen cooking programs that advances the state of food literacy for the children of Saskatoon.
By working in partnership, we are able to achieve greater inroads towards our long term goal of food security than if we were working in isolation. The CHEP Aboriginal partnership works together with Aboriginal organizations to promote healthy and affordable foods.
Recent programs within the Aboriginal partnership work include:
- Diabetes prevention and education in collaboration with partners Saskatoon Community Clinic, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI), Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre (SIMFC), and LiveWell Diabetes Program – Aim for Health;
- provision of healthy snacks for people visiting CUMFI, SIMFC and the Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC);
- building connections with the Saskatoon Tribal Council;
- the development of a collective kitchen initiative;
- community gardens; and
- Treaty Day community markets.
- Food, Fun, and Friendships can be found in CHEP’s collective kitchens. A collective kitchen is a small group of people pooling their resources to cook nutritious food in bulk for their families. We host a number of programs within the Collective Kitchen Partnership which is a collaboration between CHEP, Saskatoon Health Region and the Saskatoon Community Clinic:
- Regular Collective Kitchens;
- Drop-in Collective Kitchens;
- Leadership Training;
- Food Safe;
- Grub and Gabs;
- Cook’s Corner;
- Special cooking workshops (i.e. canning workshop).
Good Food Box
The Good Food Box is an alternative food distribution system that provides a variety of top-quality, fresh, nutritious foods at an affordable price. Individual families, as part of neighbourhood-based groups each with a volunteer coordinator, pay for and order food boxes ahead of time. This program enables families to access nutritious fresh food that emphasizes local foods as much as possible. The box also contains recipes and information about food and the food system.
Community and Backyard Gardening
As of spring 2014, there were 34 garden sites in Saskatoon within the CHEP community garden network. Gardens within this network share information and resources, support one another and agree to produce food via organic gardening principles.
Gardens may be located on municipal land (park space or land reserve), school or church properties. The CHEP Community Garden program supports new and existing community gardens, operating on an invitation basis from the gardens, through some of the following means:
- Planning and orientation for new sites
- Advocate with community partners for access to land
- Act as a liaison with community partners on behalf of gardens
- Accessing City of Saskatoon compost for gardens
- Supply of inputs (seeds, transplants)
- Supply of infrastructure (tools, building material)
- Volunteer support
- Technical and educational support
Access to food is an issue for many in our communities. It is often seniors who are most restricted in finding affordable, healthy food.
CHEP offers small stores inside seniors' complexes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. These shops sell fresh produce, eggs, and milk and allow seniors to maintain independence in choosing their foods. Especially in the winter months, CHEP's Seniors Stores allow many patrons to get their weekly groceries and access healthy foods without leaving the safety of their buildings.
As well, CHEP offers a program called "More Store to Your Door", where we partner with the Good Food Junction in offering a grocery service for seniors. Seniors are able to order basic amenities, such as toilet paper, baking goods, canned goods from our Seniors Store coordinator, and the next week their groceries are delivered with the Seniors Store market. This service makes it easy for seniors to order basic items and have then delivered, at no cost, to their home.
For more information, contact the CHEP office: