About The Emergency Food Plan (EFP)

After three years of hard work, and deep consultation, the first version of the Emergency Food Plan (EFP) was born in late November of 2023. Developed as a public strategy to compliment the City of Thunder Bay’s Emergency Plan, the EFP is a collaborative initiative that attends to food access and food security issues within the broader community during times of emergency.

Like other municipalities around the world, the community of Thunder Bay and its immediate surrounding areas were caught unprepared by the impacts on the food system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there was no coordinated body in place in the community prior to the pandemic to address the increase in food security challenges this emergency created, community-based organizations, institutions, and agencies came together in an ad-hoc way to ensure that no one went hungry. This resulted in the creation of the Food Access Coalition – a place for food access and advocacy related organizations throughout the City of Thunder Bay to come together to discuss emerging and ongoing food access needs throughout the community.

In late 2020, the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy took on coordinating this informal group and undertook research on the emergency food response that occurred during the first few months of the pandemic. This resulted in the publication of a report in 2021 entitled Learning from Emergency Food Response During COVID-19 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The result of this work identified the need to create an emergency food plan for Thunder Bay and its surrounding communities to be better prepared to address food security challenges at a community-wide level in the face of future crises.

The purpose of developing an Emergency Food Plan (EFP) is to aim to support vulnerabilized populations, who may face food insecurity on a regular basis, and those facing food insecurity during a community-level emergency where there may be increased pressures on food access. The EFP can be best understood as creating the infrastructure of a parachute – made up of key resources and relationships – that can be activated in the face of any emergency, while leveraging the resources and skills of the broader network of stakeholders. From this research, and through deep collaborative efforts with the Food Access Coalition and a Primary Partners Table, the TBAFS has coordinated the networks and infrastructure for an emergency food response ‘parachute’.

The Emergency Food Plan (v.1-2023)

Click here to read the Emergency Food Plan in full, including supporting appendices for other communities interested in this work. 

Learning from Emergency Food Response During COVID-19 in Thunder Bay

Click here to read the background research that informed the creation of the Emergency Food Plan.

Emergency Food Plan Ratification

Click here to read the formal release of the Emergency Food Plan.