The York Region Food Council has a youth arm to ensure that the voices, experiences and needs of youth, aged 18 to 30 years, are being integrated into food system conversations and thinking. Follow the Youth Food Committee on Instagram.
What We Do
The Youth Food Committee (YFC) is a working group of the York Region Food Council and an arm of York Region Food Network.
The Youth Food Committee offers a platform for youth to connect with one another and insert their voices into food system issues. Through the YFC, youth pursue topics, projects and events that catch their interest, with support from York Region Food Network.
Each of our initiatives is made possible through our working groups. Small groups of interested members work collaboratively to put on events (see below), create content, and run advocacy campaigns. In the past, our advocacy-focused working groups have run a post-election letter-writing campaign to MPs, and advocated for reduced use of MZOs.
Our main focus for the Youth Food Committee is advocacy and amplifying youth voices (there are also opportunities for tangible projects as well). You’ll have the opportunity to support projects, lead projects, or take a step back to network and learn about York Region’s food system through other members and routine speakers.
If you are between the ages of 18-30 and are interested in joining the Youth Food Committee, contact Morgan at morgans @ yrfn.ca
- The Intersection Between Food and Environmental Justice: Achieving BIPOC Agency, Autonomy, and Liberty
- Empowering Food Systems Leaders: A United Nations Food Systems Summit Independent Dialogue Part 1 & Part 2
- Let’s Talk Food: What is York Region’s Food Future
- Follow us on Instagram for more details
- Empowering Youth Food Systems Leaders: Resource Document
Co-Chair and Co-Founder
Gurneet Dhami is a Food Policy & Research Analyst supporting with the coordination of Municipal level food security research at York Region food Network. Additionally, as the co-founder of the Youth Food Committee, she is organizing leadership and mentorship training for youth members paving their own trail in the food activism scene in York Region. Find her engaging with the political news online or writing to the editor with youth perspectives.
Co-Chair and Co-Founder
Morgan was drawn to her role at York Region Food Network by her deep-rooted passion for both community and food that stems from seeing time and time again how food can be used to celebrate and connect people.
As a Food Policy Coordinator, she manages the York Region Food Council and their projects, which range from advocating for food security to conducting community research. She also helped co-found the York Region Youth Food Committee, a working group of the Food Council, to empower youth aged 18-30 in York Region to advocate, educate, and act on food issues.
When not at work she can be found spending time with friends and family, playing board games, curling up with a good book, or finding new ways to move – hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, dancing, you name it!
Katie (they/she) is a community-oriented land use planner and food systems researcher working out of King Township. They see land use planning as inseparable from the problems that the food system is currently facing, using their work with the Youth Food Committee as a way to inspire collaborative food systems transformation. As a neuroqueer, non-binary, White settler with Balkan ancestry, they are mobilizing for equitable rural/agricultural communities, sustainable heritage design, spatial/mobility justice, and the role of planners as treaty people.
Katrina believes that healthy, accessible, and affordable food is a fundamental human right. She spent two summers as an Urban Agriculture student working in the Newmarket community gardens at YRFN, which sparked her passion for food justice. She is currently studying for her MSc in Public Health and is interested in the intersection of food with public health. In her spare time, you can find her hanging out at the park, reading a good book, or taking care of her garden.
Samantha Santoro (she/her) has extensive experience working in research in healthcare, environmental, economic, and social justice contexts. She has an interest in all work that contributes to the building of new worlds centred around, in the words of Robyn Maynard, “the multivalent needs of those who least have access to a livable life.” She is a Policy Officer at the ASE Community Foundation for Black Canadians with Disabilities working to dismantle anti-Black racism and ableism, and she also actively volunteers with organizations that work in the areas of social, environmental, and/or racial justice to construct a more equitable, habitable future.
Sidney (they/them) is a second year student at the University of British Columbia, specializing in sustainable agriculture. Originally from Markham, ON, they are passionate about reclaiming urban space to grow food. As well as volunteering with YRFN Youth Council, they’ve been involved with 4H Dairy Club, their school’s hydroponic design team and have worked on a seaweed farming project in the maritimes last summer. Some of their nonfood related interests include fixing bikes, watching movies and writing.
I’m Sarah O’Neill, a second-year student at the University of Guelph-Humber for Community Social Services. As a committee member and gardener, I’m passionate about the individual and community connection we make with food! In addition, I’m interested in learning about food insecurity issues and studying community involvement, policy-making, and advocacy solutions. The Youth Food Committee has provided an enriching educational experience, encouraging me to constantly get involved in solving food issues, including urban sprawl, food inclusivity, and accessibility!
Sophie is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, having completed her undergraduate studies in nutritional sciences. During her studies, she became interested in food issues beyond individualistic human nutrition (or rather, issues she felt were overlooked in the nutritional sciences) such as food security, sovereignty, and justice as integral to community health. She has research experience in foodnutrition policy and campus food-growing spaces, loves to garden, and always strives to further understand the intersectionality of food issues in York Region.