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Terms of Reference


Established at Toronto Metropolitan University (then named Ryerson University) in 1994, the Centre for Studies in Food Security (CSFS) works to promote food security through research, dissemination, education, community action, and professional practice. We take an interdisciplinary and systemic approach to social justice, environmental sustainability, health, and socio-cultural aspects of food security. The Centre shares information and facilitates dialogue among civil society organizations, universities, and governments through seminars and workshops, our web site, and associated mailing lists. We host national and international conferences and engage with food security initiatives at local, regional and global levels.

The CSFS understands food security as being defined by “5 As”, namely:

  • Availability: Sufficient food for all people at all times.
  • Accessibility: Physical and economic access to food for all at all times.
  • Adequacy: Access to food that is nutritious and safe, and produced in environmentally sustainable ways.
  • Acceptability: Access to culturally acceptable food, which is produced and obtained in ways that do not compromise people’s dignity, self-respect or human rights.
  • Agency: The policies and processes that enable the achievement of food security.


Create a platform for dialogue to increase food security through focusing on issues of health, income, and hte evolution of the food system, including attention to ecological sustainability and sociocultural diversity.

Contribute to the knowledge base on food security through research and consulting capacity which draws on the strengths of Toronto-based faculty and students, and TMU's commitment to applied research and professional education.

Generate research and innovative practices, responsive to societal need, in partnership with the community groups, small businesses, produers' organizations, health professionals, universities, government agencies and others.

Contribute to teaching and learning on food security issues

Share information and resources across all sectors, utilizing electronic media publications, conferences, public forums, network meetings, and other means of participatory communication.


Membership category
Eligibility for membership
Rights & responsibilities Term of membership
Members TMU RFA faculty, CUPE instructors, and staff with research, teaching and other activities aligned with CSFS.  
Obtained by application to or invitation by the Management Board
Voting rights; listed on website; eligible for support of activities where resources allow; can nominate associate and student members; active participation in CSFS meetings/activities; submit annual report of activities by May 30.
The Centre will be credited as a supporter or sponsor of all affiliated projects and publications.
1 year renewable based on submission of annual report  
membership year runs Jul 1 - Jun 30
Associate Members
Active collaboration with CSFS members & nominated by at least one member. Approved by Management Board ex officio: attendance at CSFS meetings/activities; listed on website; access library where faculty sponsor is available 1 year renewable based on description of collaboration submitted by member as part of their annual report
Student Members TMU full time or part time students nominated by a member.  Approved by Management Board ex officio: attendance at CSFS meetings and listing on website 1 year renewable upon receipt of request for renewal by Jun 15


Management Board: responsible for decision making regarding day to day operations, including staffing, for the Centre. The Management Board consists of the Director and two Associate Directors. Past Director normally expected to serve on the Management Board to provide continuity as ex officio member for one year. The Certificate Coordinator attends the Management Board meetings on matters relevant to the Certificate.

Management Board members are appointed by consensus of the membership, or by vote if necessary, for a 2-year term. Members wishing to become part of the Management Board at the conclusion of a term may declare their candidacy prior to the AGM. There is no limitation on how many terms (consecutive or not) a member can be part of the Management Board.

Director: responsible for management of budget and oversight of the Centre’s cost centre; management of Centre’s staff; drafting the annual report; and organizing the Annual General Meeting and Advisory Board Meeting. 

Associate Directors: support the Director in all other activities, including but not restricted to communicating with members; responding to requests for collaboration (for example on grants, activities); writing letters of support; hosting and co-hosting of events; sharing of information of events and publications of potential interest to the membership. 

Advisory Board is a consultative organ of the Centre. It meets once a year to review Centre activities and serve on an advisory capacity to the Management Board. Advisory Board Members represent key stakeholders at TMU and the outside community who are not directly involved with the Centre’s activities. They are invited by the Management Board to serve for three-years (renewable). The size of the board can range from 5 to 10 members.


The Centre will close when it completes its mandate or when two thirds of its members decide for the termination of its activities. A notice of discontinuation will be submitted to the Dean of Community Services and assets of the Centre will be transferred to the Dean’s office.