2006 – 2012 the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Era
The Food Security Research Network was initiated after a proposal to the J.W.McConnell Family Foundaton resulted in the receipt of a five year grant (extended to six years, 2006-2012). FSRN initially emerged as a hub for faculty and community members to work together to build curriculum-based research projects and service opportunities that foster student leadership, enhance connections to the broader community and build capacity in civil society around the theme of food security. The Our Story video provides a quick overview of FSRN history during this time.
Between 2006 and 2012, the J.W. McConnell Grant supported research fpcusing on the impact of introducing community service learning into credit courses. During these six years 28 faculty members from 7 academic faculties and 16 disciplines in service learning courses organized around the theme of food security, or sustaining access to food.
2013 – present FSRN as an established Research Network
Since 2013, FSRN has continued to work in community to support research, learning, and action to support the growth of sustainable food systems. Lakehead University’s Food Security Research Network (FSRN) continuing aim is to enhance local food marketing, production, and distribution, as well as develop novel uses of the boreal forest for improving food security.
Working with community partners and area residents, the FSRN provides the facilitative leadership required to create new opportunities to expand and strengthen local food production and consumer demand. Another major role of the FSRN is to increase public awareness about issues related to food security in the region. The FSRN connects students and instructors/researchers from Lakehead University with community organizations in collaboratively overcoming barriers to food security in Northwestern Ontario.