Where’s the Food? A Community Food Assessment Toolkit

About: The Where’s the Food toolkit guides a group of community members through conducting research about food issues in their neighbourhood or community. It was developed by the Food for All Project.

The objectives of the Where’s the Food toolkit are building community capacity around food concerns, obtaining a better understanding of local food issues within a neighbourhood, building knowledge and education about food actions, initiatives, and projects that are possible, planting the seeds for action within a community, and developing baseline data about food security in Ottawa’s neighbourhoods.

The Where’s the Food toolkit was developed specifically for Ottawa neighbourhoods to understand the food issues in the community. Volunteers work together to gather information about the food services, programs, and issues that are important in the community, and use this research to plan for action.

They investigate topics including food in neighbourhood schools, community gardens, agricultural land, emergency food provision, hunger and poverty, and the availability of food services in the neighbourhood. For example, while we know that there are about 43,000 people that receive food from the Ottawa Food Bank each month, how many people are hungry in your neighbourhood? There are farmers’ markets, community gardens, and grocery stores all over the city – but how easy are they to get to for people in in your neighbourhood?

Download toolkit

If you have completed a Community Food Assessment please email us a copy at info@justfood.ca and we can publish it here.

Completed Community Food Assessments

Sandy Hill, 2010

In Sandy Hill, the results of the Where’s the Food research were compiled into a summary document, called: Where’s the Food? A Compilation of Research Gathered with the Food Security Assessment

Fitzroy Harbour, 2010-2011

In Fitzroy Harbour, community members did a survey of the kinds of food actions area residents would like to see. Read the full results here.

Barrhaven, 2011-2012

The Barrhaven Where’s the Food team produced a final report of findings in the Barrhaven community. Click here to download a PDF version of the final report, titled “Where’s the Food: A Compilation of Food Resources for Barrhaven”. There is also a one-page summary of this report.

Centretown, 2012


Vanier-Overbrook, 2012

A team in Vanier-Overbrook is currently working with the toolkit to research food issues and resources in the Vanier-Overbrook area.




Start-up Farm Program

Just Food established the Start-Up Farm Program to support new farmers in the Ottawa region. By offering access to land, shared infrastructure/equipment, and training, the program aims to enable more people in this region to start their own successful farm business.

> Read More about Just Food’s Start-up Farm program