Fostering a secure local food system in the Bow Valley
Trust-building and collaboration are at the heart of the Bow Valley Food Alliance (BVFA). Working with a large and diverse group of community members, the BVFA recognizes that strong relationships are the key ingredients to creating an equitable, regenerative, and secure local food system for every community in the Bow Valley.
Working hand in hand with over 40 local organizations, the BVFA is deeply committed to addressing food security and promoting food sovereignty. While food security ensures access to an adequate food supply, food sovereignty empowers communities to shape their own sustainable, culturally relevant, and socially responsible food systems.
Thanks to a recent donation of $90,000 from the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, the BVFA has been able to expand its capacity-building efforts and continue employing dedicated coordinators who champion a resilient and secure food system for communities throughout the Bow Valley. The Foundation has donated over $230,000 to the Alliance since 2021.
“With this invaluable support, we are empowered to sustain and amplify our efforts, creating a powerful momentum that enables us to forge connections, provide education, and advocate for the overall well-being of individuals across the Bow Valley,” said Lou Doyon, Communication Coordinator at BVFA. “An increasing number of people are accessing local food supports, and this generous donation plays a pivotal role in enabling us to continue advocating for and supporting solutions to the issues of food security in the Bow Valley. Together, we are strengthening the local food system and creating a more resilient and inclusive Bow Valley.”
Driven by a vision of lasting impact, the BVFA actively engages with the communities of Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Exshaw, MD of Bighorn, Mînî Thnî, and the Stoney Nakoda Nations. Through a combination of public events, educational initiatives, and direct outreach, they build partnerships and collaborate to promote equity in the food system.
BVFA’s projects cover a broad spectrum of programs, ranging from aiding newly arrived Ukrainian refugees and other newcomers in the Bow Valley to coordinating the community-wide Taste of Cultures events and coordinating volunteers to assist with the distribution of over 1000 food hampers with the Iyarhre Nakoda Food Bank.
“The vitality of every community hinges on a secure food system,” said Cathy Geisler, Executive Director of the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation. “Through this donation, we emphasize our commitment to the BVFA, and hope it inspires others to rally behind their impactful efforts in supporting families and individuals across the Bow Valley.”
Currently, the BVFA is prioritizing engagement with its membership, striving to ensure that the communities they work in comprehensively understand their purpose and the transformative impact they bring. Recognizing that access to food is an essential topic across individuals and communities the BVFA aims to build capacity while sharing its mandate and vision.
Learn more about how the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation continues to support a more active, vibrant, and happy community.