This fall I had the opportunity to facilitate a bus tour of four different Winnipeg organizations working to address food security in our city. Each organization has a different approach to addressing food security.
Our busload of 24 dedicated champions of food security from Southern Health-Santé Sud thoroughly enjoyed getting a first hand look at these four organizations:
NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre – an all encompassing one-stop community food centre
Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corp – a low cost food program BAG (Better Access to Groceries)
Fort Whyte Farms – a social enterprise farm focusing on youth engagement
Food Matters Manitoba – an organization helping communities create Good Food plans and promote Food Security
NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre
The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre (CFC) is a welcoming space where people come together to share a good meal, join a cooking group, grow a garden, learn about healthy eating and get active on issues in the community. The centre is a project of NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre, operated in partnership with Community Food Centers Canada.
Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corp
Better Access to Groceries (BAG) is a non-profit program under the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (CNRC) sponsored Essential Foods in Elmwood and in partnership with Together In Elmwood (TIE) Parent Child Coalition, Chalmers Community Centre, Elmwood Community Resource Centre and other community partners. Our mission is to provide the Chalmers neighbourhood and surrounding Elmwood community better access to fresh and low-cost fruits and vegetables, as well as promote community engagement activities and healthy eating. You can learn more about BAG on the Facebook Group: BAG – Better Access to Groceries
Fort Whyte Farms
FortWhyte Farms is a social enterprise – a business whose purpose goes beyond a purely financial ‘bottom line’ to see profit in the far reaching social and economic benefits that extend into the lives of individuals, families and communities. FortWhyte Farms program works with youth from diverse cultural backgrounds in Winnipeg. Using the model of sustainable urban agriculture to build confidence and leadership skills, FortWhyte Farms provides employment training and instills values of individual and community self-reliance.
The long-term goal of this program is to serve as a catalytic, transformative force in the lives of at-risk youth and their families by providing hands-on training in sustainable urban-based agriculture, thus providing them with a sense of hope, purpose and place, new and improved sources of income, and enhanced access to high quality, locally produced food.
Food Matters Manitoba
A registered charity that partners with northerners, newcomers, farmers and families to harvest, prepare and share good food. It does this by:
- educating Manitobans about food security and the sustainability of food systems in Manitoba
- providing a common focus for action for food system stakeholders through the Manitoba Food Charter
- raising public awareness about food and food systems
- strengthening networks and partnerships to work together to address local food security issues
- strengthening the capacity of our organization
- advancing food security work across Manitoba
Thank you to these organizations for sharing their story and for the work that they do.
If you’re interested in learning more about Food Security and what resources are available from across Canada, check out this list of awesome Food Security resources from across Canada that I’ve compiled as part of my work on this project.
Want to learn more? Getty is a dynamic facilitator and presenter passionate about making food accessible to all. Whether hands-on kitchen skills or facilitated discussion about food security or food sustainability Getty can help. Her community work on promoting good food for all has earned her distinctions such as the Oxfam Female Food Hero, Food Matter’s Golden Carrot Award and an Excellence in Sustainability award.