What is Food Security?
“When all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”
– World Health Organization, 1996 World Food Summit
The following vision, mission, guiding principles, priorities, and strategies were adopted by the board of directors in April 2017, and will guide our work until 2020.
Healthy people, community, and environment.
Inspiring a robust Richmond food system through education, advocacy, and community building initiatives.
Authentic Principles: We live the values as identified in the Richmond Food Charter.
Courageous Community Leadership: We engage our community to address challenges.
Healthy Ambition: We grow community wellness and have fun doing it.
Sustainable Change: We inspire long-term, tangible, systemic results.
Grow a Food Literate Community
Nurture Urban Agriculture
Enrich Organizational Foundation
Offer high quality educational programming and events.
Facilitate the formation of a Richmond Food System Advisory Committee.
Develop a membership program.
Expand and enhance our programs that promote urban agriculture.
Position ourselves to be a valued partner for the Garden City Lands agricultural park.
Advocate for issues that are important to urban agriculture.
Professionalize RFSS Communications
Enhance our board and governance.
Achieve charitable status.
Develop consistent, reliable, and diverse funding streams.
Develop information, data, and technology systems to meet continued and future needs of the organization.
Identify and understand the diverse audiences that we serve, and adapt our programs to reflect these demographics.
We were initially established in 2002 by the Richmond Poverty Response Committee as the Food Security Task Force, which grew to become an independent society in 2009. Over the years, several key documents have informed our work:
- the Richmond Food System Assessment Report, which explored options to develop a food policy for Richmond. A food action plan based on this report was presented to the City Planning Committee in 2006.
- the Foodland Asset Report, which identified lands available for food production in Richmond in 2012.
- the Richmond Food Charter, which outlined the Richmond community’s collective values and right to adequate food. It was unanimously endorsed by the Richmond City Council in 2016.
Within the community, our programs have sprouted passionate youth leaders, budding young cooks from low-asset backgrounds, happy gardeners, local seeds, and surplus fruit for those in need. For consumers, one of our valued publications is the Local Eating Guide, a map that shows where to buy Richmond-grown produce and meats.
Throughout the years, we have hosted a number of fun events that inspire, educate, and connect fellow gardeners and locavores. One of our biggest annual events, the World Food Day celebration, has set a festive stage for food security advocacy and dialogue since 2005. In 2008, we organized the Food for All Dialogue, a food security conference that featured 28 speakers and sparked fruitful community conversation among 200 people, from experts to ordinary citizens. Since 2010, we have been hosting Seedy Saturday, an annual celebration dedicated to nurturing the tradition of growing from local seeds. Over the years, we have also held a variety of organic gardening, cooking, and canning workshops in our efforts to increase food literacy.