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Park picnic focuses on local food

May 30 2012
Eric Nordal collects a platter of food for one of the participants in Tuesday's picnic. 

Eric Nordal collects a platter of food for one of the participants in Tuesday's picnic.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , timescolonist.com (May 2012)

Red dinnerware and bottles of water stacked inside green milk crates were part of an eclectic outdoor food event held in a Victoria park Tuesday evening.

The picnic featured locally grown food to show those involved in social service organizations the advantages of eating locally.

"This is one of the activities that raises awareness of producing our own and consuming our own food," said Alvaro Moreno of the Community Social Planning Council. Eating food grown locally helps to build community, he said.

Many people eat at fast food restaurants "because they don't know their options," Moreno said.

Food is one of the Community Action Plan on Poverty's 10 action areas.

Eric Nordal of SocialCoast said his group sponsored the event to bring together people who support different causes.

Sixty tickets were sold online to the event.

Food included mushroom hazelnut pate, pasta with tarragon cream sauce and roasted beets. For dessert, there was a rhubarb and loganberry fool.

The event in Mason Park, off Mason Street near Quadra Street, was an opportunity to reclaim a public space, said Gordon O'Connor of the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group.

A homeless person slept under blankets in a corner of the park, apparently oblivious to the food preparation.

"By . . . having a positive, inclusive event, we're doing something to say our community is for everyone," O'Connor said.

smcculloch@timescolonist.com

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