20 Voices from 20 Years: 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, Seniors NL. Mary and Seniors NL have been a partner on various Food First NL projects, like SCOFF and Everybody Eats.
“SeniorsNL receives calls from across the province from older adults who are concerned about food affordability and having to rely on food banks,” she says.
“Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland & Labrador to ensure everyone has access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food. Many of their projects are targeted towards seniors. This makes our partnership a good fit for both organizations.”
“Of particular importance to me is the fact that these opportunities provided by Food First NL also bring seniors together to learn, share stories, and socialize – activities that help prevent isolation within our older population,” says Mary.
She points out that the organization not only provides educational opportunities for seniors, but also calls on seniors to share their experiences with growing, hunting, fishing for food and best ways to preserve that food.
“I particularly appreciate the work they do in rural and remote parts of our province,” says Mary, who counts the community freezer in Hopedale, the greenhouse in Bird Cove, and the community garden in St. Anthony among Food First NL’s greatest collaborations with communities in our province.
For Mary, the future of Food First NL involves embracing its role in developing inter-generational opportunities for different age groups to exchange ideas and knowledge and learn together.
“Newfoundlanders and Labradorians seem to be embracing the traditional ways that food is harvested, used, and preserved,” says Mary.
“A fine example is the well-known chefs in the province who use only local products and showcase them in their cuisine which is being recognized internationally.”