The Community Cabbage is a student organization at the University of Victoria. We serve a free weekly hot meal to the campus community prepared from food ‘rescued’ from the waste stream. Volunteers come together to collect unsellable but edible food from grocery stores, and the food is then used to cook a healthy vegetarian meal through a cooking workshop at a local church kitchen.
d) Provide a safe, community-oriented space for people to engage with food
We are working to develop an on-campus collective kitchen that provides regular free meals, food education programming, and a venue for other organizations to use in their work.
The Community Cabbage operates on WSÁNEĆ and Lekwungen territory. We are continually learning and recognizing the privilege and responsibility of living, learning, and eating on this land.
In Canada, we participate in social and economic structures that are not indigenous to this place. They were installed by European colonizing forces that intentionally displaced existing indigenous systems.
The disruption of traditional food systems and takeover of land by settlers has resulted in the loss of food sovereignty and ongoing food security challenges for many communities. It is imperative that food movements, especially those relating to food security, understand the ongoing nature of colonialism, and work to dismantle it.
At the Community Cabbage, our mission is to realize an alternative food system that emphasizes the cultural and ecological foundations of food through sharing free meals and teaching food skills. Our goal is to ensure that we can contribute to the vital process of decolonization.
Food sovereignty is “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods. More importantly, it is the right to define and control our own food and agriculture systems, including markets, production modes, food cultures, and environments” (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2012).
Food security is the condition in which “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (Food and Agriculture Organization, 1996).