The Buddy System

A support and way-finding system to enhance the community’s ability to identify and access critical resources throughout the community.

The “Nourish Buddy” concept was created after visiting support organizations within our community, and interacting with the individuals currently engaging with these organization’s supports and resources.   It is a movement that highlights, acknowledges, and inspires resources and citizens to work together as one. The goal being to build unity within the community, and overcome the stigma around food (In)security.

Our Theory of Change
If we inspire non-judgemental spaces and places through a food mentorship movement, we will empower acts of courage that “shine the light” on how prevalent food insecurity is in our community and how communal ownership can begin to impact it.

How It Works

The Nourish Buddy is a mentor-based empathy movement which connects prior users of food assistance programs with potential new users who are struggling to access those services due to stigma.  The ‘Nourish Buddy’ (a prior user) supports an individual by helping them to navigate how and where to acquire healthly food resources as well as accompanying the new user in solidarity, as a friend, to access resources and services.

The Nourish Light Bulb
The Nourish Light bulb is a beacon that ‘illuminates’ users to resources in the community who support a safe, accessible and stigma-free space. The light bulb is a decal that is placed on a resources front window or door.

Start "The Nourish Buddy" In Your Community

Want to help community members within the county feel more safe and less judged when going through Food (In)Security?

Welcome to The Nourish Buddy!

Here is how to get started:

Step I. WHERE? You are going to have to locate the food resources within the community that is accessible to the public.

Step II. Introducting The Nourish Buddy! You will want to introduce The Nourish Buddy to the resources within the commuinty and give them a little bit of knowledge and reasoning behind it. Make sure you hit em’ right in the feels! 😉

Step III. Promote! Promote! Promote! You are going to want to do lots of promoting of The Nourish Buddy so the individuals needing the assistance are aware of the movement and know how to reach out.

Step IV. WHAT is something you value? We need our community resources to identify their organization values and core morals that they want to be represented by their BUDDIES!

Step V. Creating a platform for buddies to connect and be monitored. What does that mean? It means, you need to know the number of buddies that are already out in the community, where they are located, and how many buddies are stationed in a resource.

Step VI. BUDDIES? WHAT ARE THOSE? Well, let us tell you! The buddies we are talking about are individuals who are willing to volunteer to show their courage and share their prior experience with being Food Insecure. These buddies are here to help you feel welcomed and to eliminate the fear around accessing these resources.

*The first set of buddies will be selected by the resource owner/manager based on their knowledge and the values that they hold within said resource.* 

*To become a buddy, you would need a valid VSS ($25) or see if the resource you are working with will cover the cost.* 

Step VII. How will people in the community be able to identify these resources? Don’t worry, we got you! We have a designed a beacon that you can distribute to all of the resources that are willing to take part in this movement. With these beacons the resources can stick them to their business store-front window!

The Nourish Buddy Beacon:

The Nourish Buddy Beacon

Step VIII. Now that you know all the goodies, put them all together and you now have
The Nourish Buddy!

Recommended Materials and Resources

Resources Needed

  • Local Food Organizations (Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Grocery Stores etc)
  • Volunteers (Prior users of food resources)

Materials Needed

  • Effigy Design – Beacons & Stickers
  • Community Partners (County Council)
  • Connections to Resources

Decal and Buddy System: 

The Nourish Buddy Beacon

The Nourish Buddy Infographic

Theme: Community Ownership
Initial Sponsor: The County of Simcoe
Program: Child and Youth Care
Semester: Winter 2018
Designed For: Citizens accessing community food resources
Creators: Tiffany Dunphy & Sydne Thurlow-White
Additional Keywords: Nourish Light bulb, Buddy System


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