Course Details

Course title: NEW 342H1S: Theory and Praxis in Food Security
Instructor name and contact information: Lauren Baker,
Description of course (100 words):
Theory and Praxis in Food Security provides an interdisciplinary introduction to food issues, using Toronto as a case study. Social justice and environmental sustainability are the central organizing themes. Key concepts in food and agriculture studies will be explored, including: food (in)security, community food security, food systems, food democracy and food sovereignty. These key concepts will be illuminated through an examination of global/local food issues, debates, and initiatives. Direct student engagement with community organizations and enterprises through an eight-week service learning placement will enable students to reflect on issues of social justice and global equity through “working with food.” The service learning placement is a core component of the course, designed to expose students to the many factors contributing to food (in)security.
When will the course run? Fall 2017

Placement Details

How many students will need placements? 35
What are the proposed beginning and end dates for the community-engaged learning placements? Week of Oct 10 - Week of Nov 20
How many hours in total will students be placed for? 16
Will the placement hours be distributed as a certain number of hours per week? And, if so, how many hours per week? Approximately 2 hours / week.
What kinds of knowledge, skills and experience will students bring to the placement? Students will bring a growing knowledge of food issues to the placement. They bring a wide range of skills and interests from food politics, to equity and social justice, to cooking and gardening, as well as social media and writing/research skills.
What might a sample placement or project look like? Serving food at Sistering. Coordinating a community kitchen at Church of the Redeemer. Packing Good Food Boxes at FoodShare. Research with the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council.

The Student Learning Experience

What will students ideally learn from this placement experience? Students will learn:
  • About food security issues through the lens of social justice and environmental sustainability;
  • How key issues facing food security organizations relate to food security, food systems and global food justice;
  • About the activities of Toronto’s community food programs;
  • hands-on, practical skills “working with food” based in a community food organization or enterprise.
What can community partners do to help make this placement and course a success? They can create a clearly defined role for the students and orient them to the mission and mandate of the organization.
What assignments or activities will students undertake in the course to connect their community placement experience with course content e.g. reflection assignments? Students will keep a journal based on their service learning experience. Journal entries will reflect on SL placements and course readings. Three journal entries will be shared on a class blog to facilitate discussion about the placements with other students. A policy paper will be written based on an issue that surfaced through the placement experience.