Food Security Network map shows 'overwhelming' P.E.I. initiative to help feed people

Rather than present another written report detailing the efforts across Prince Edward Island to feed people in need, those making the effort will be able to see it.

'We shouldn't have to have all this going on,' says Anne Mazer of the Food Security Network

Anne Mazer says the food map she made will help show people what is going on across P.E.I. in regards of initiatives to feed people. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Rather than present another written report detailing the efforts across Prince Edward Island to feed people in need, Anne Mazer of the Food Security Network has illustrated them with a giant map.

The map, which shows 58 initiatives throughout the Island, will be presented at the network's Food Security Network's annual general meeting on April 13.

Anne Mazer will present her map at the Food Security Network annual meeting. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Mazer said there are dozens of organizations and hundreds of Islanders volunteering to try and ensure everyone gets enough to eat.  

"My image was there's a ton going on, let's put it all together, let's put it up on the wall and let's be overwhelmed. People look at it and say, 'Oh my gosh. All of that is going on? That was my goal," Mazer told Island Morning's Matt Rainnie.

"I want to say it's a very informal report, so I would call these conversations, rather than a gathering of statistics."

The map measures 8-feet long by three-and-half-feet.

"It's filled with quotes of people who are working with this food initiatives. Basically, what it is, it's a glimpse of what is going on the Island in community supported ways of feeding people who need food."

Initiatives are Island wide

The map also shows the ways people are helping themselves through initiatives like community gardens, food skills classes, and more.

Mazer said people involved in many of the initiatives told her they were busy and enjoyed being involved what they were doing. But others told her they were overwhelmed.

"One person said, 'I've been in this 14 years and it's getting to be too much and I want out'," said Mazer.

She added she had people tell her the numbers for people using services are increasing.

Others told her the total volunteers hours for one year with one group of 28 were a modest estimate at 2,500 hours.

"People have good hearts and the generosity is amazing, and like me, they don't want to see people going hungry," said Mazer.

She noted most volunteers are older and most groups have a difficult time getting younger volunteers.

"My hope is when people see it, they will say, this isn't the answer to what we are trying to do to feed Island people."

Mazer said it was a fine line of standing back and admiring all the work that was going on across the Island and then knowing it shouldn't be.

"We shouldn't have to have all this going on," said Mazer.

With files from Island Morning


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