20 Voices from 20 Years

In 2018, Food First NL turned 20.

To celebrate, we’re checking in with 20 voices from our first 20 years in operation, by asking them all about the past, present, and future of Food First NL, and why they got involved.

Check back every week day in November for a new post:

John Greene.jpg

Day 1: John Greene | Founding Member

During his studies at Memorial, John became involved in Oxfam. He connected with the agency’s slogan: “Think Globally, Act Locally.” It was a notion that led him to found a Community Garden in Pippy Park, the Community Food Sharing Association, and then, in 1998, the Food Security Network NL (now Food First NL).”

Katie Temple.jpg

Day 2: Katie Temple | Board Member 2005-2008

“Food is both personal and political,” she says. “It addresses environmental concerns, social justice, inequality, health and so much more. Although the organization was tiny at the time, there were very dedicated people involved, and I could see the potential for a big impact in the future.”

Screenshot (80).png

Day 3: Melba Rabinowitz | Former Treasurer

Melba wrote our first funding application to the Public Health Agency of Canada … on a typewriter. It secured the future of the organization. “When I joined Food First NL, there was $70.00 in the bank account and they were struggling to pay for a post office box,” she says. A far cry from 2018; this year alone, the organization moved into a new office to accommodate growth in staff numbers.


Day 4: Carlene palliser | Past Food Security Coordinator

Carlene Palliser is an Ordinary member for Rigolet. Prior to her political appointment, she was a Food Security Coordinator in Rigolet, and helped lay the groundwork for our ongoing Our Food NL project in Nunatsiavut, specifically the programs in Rigolet such as the Good Food Box program.


Day 5: mary Ennis | Seniors NL

 “SeniorsNL has partnered with Food First NL since the Spring of 2012, and we’ve never looked back,” says Mary Ennis. For Mary, the future of Food First NL involves embracing its role in developing inter-generational opportunities for different age groups to exchange knowledge and learn from each other.


Day 6: Glendora Boland | founding member

Glendora helped establish Food First NL in 1998, specifically to address the cost of food in our province. She believes that FFNL must continue its collaborative work with key stakeholders to improve food policy at the municipal and provincial level.


Day 6: Sandra Dominie | Public Health nurse

Public Health Nurse Sandra Dominie has been a partner with and consultant for Food First NL on numerous projects. In today’s 20 from 20 post she shares the personal reason she first got involved with Food First NL, how she thinks the organization is succeeding, and what it should work towards in its next 20 years.

Scott Coish.jpg

Day 7: Scott Coish | Town of St. Anthony

“There seems to be a renewed interest in Community gardens ... these are great to get kids involved with thinking about food security,” Coish says. New in his role as the Parks and Recreation Director with the Town of St. Anthony, he attended the Recreation NL annual general meeting, where Food First NL was a topic of conversation. From there he connected with Sarah Ferber, and established a community garden in St. Anthony.

Lynn Blackwood.jpg

Day 8: Lynn Blackwood | Regional Nutritionist

“I was born and raised and work in Labrador and the challenges accessing food in Labrador are many: access, affordability, and quality to name a few,” says Lynn Blackwood. “I wanted to provide a voice for Labradorians on this very important topic.”