In early December, community organizers in Montreal announced the creation of a food policy council, making this the world’s first francophone city to take this important step.

Scheduled for an official launch in the spring of 2018, the council will aim to mobilize the community and serve as a hub of expertise around four key policy areas: food security for all, urban agriculture, institutional and alternative procurement, and food waste. The plan is to bring together a range of stakeholders from the city, public health institutions, the ministry of agriculture, community and environmental groups, as well as farmers and academic researchers, among others.

Montreal has the highest proportion of food insecurity in the province. In 2011–12, approximately one in 10 households in greater Montreal — 11.3 per cent — experienced “moderate to severe food insecurity.” Only one-third of high school students consume the recommended daily portions of fruits and vegetables. At the same time, obesity is on the rise among Quebec children.