We put out a job ad in July, and a familiar face answered the call: Sarah Crocker has (re)joined the Food First NL team, in the role of Education & Community Outreach Coordinator.
Many months of fun, hard work have culminated in the creation of 9 new programs in 3 communities in the Coast of Bays that will improve residents' access to healthy, affordable food — from pig & chicken rearing, to community freezers full of donated game, fish, and berries, to community farms that include a plot for the local school, and more, like the heritage rhubarb garden pictured above, that's already produced tasty treats for the whole town.
To make the healthy choice an accessible and easy choice for Newfoundlanders & Labradorians, we must ensure the public has access to healthy food in places where many people spend much of their time, like schools, hospitals, and government buildings. Furthermore, these sectors have profound purchasing power: if they bought and served more local food, they'd become serious economic engines and lynch pins for our local food system.
Cost of Food & Household Food Insecurity is 1 of the first 3 Action Groups formed through our Everybody Eats project, which is building a roadmap towards better Food Security in Newfoundland & Labrador.
While putting a motion forward this week, senator Art Eggelton acknowledged our partner Farm to Cafeteria Canada, for their Farm to School program. It was this very program that helped create the farm to school salad bar in place at St. Bonaventure’s in St. John’s (and 3 more forthcoming to our province!)
Thanks to these events, one group of seniors knows where to get a variety of fresh local foods, from fish, berries, and produce, to quail and quail eggs, and breads made using locally milled, organic flour, and another group has the fermenting skills they need to get more out of their home gardening efforts.
You know you’re off to a good start with a new project when things start changing for the better before the project has truly begun! Our latest Our Food NL project will assess and address issues of food security in the Coast of Bays region of our province. By simply talking about the project among each other, one community is already seeing positive changes.
Leo’s family has been fishing for a living for 200 years. His video focuses on preparing fish. He goes beyond removing the fillets, to showing us all the other goods available from fresh cod that, for too long, were being discarded as waste, including one of Leo’s favourites – the nape – which is a thin slice of belly meat.
Warren jokes that upon retiring as a fisherman at 60, he installed a root cellar to make work for himself. As his video demonstrates, you don’t need a traditional root cellar to keep your veggies over the winter. Warren’s father built one under their house, because he never had a basement, whereas Warren built one below his shed.
In late 2017, Food First invited senior groups to apply for funding towards community events that would improve food skills and knowledge, and therefore food security among seniors. Participants learned about things as varied as making their own yogurt from milk, where to buy (and how to pickle) local quail eggs, what’s growing at their local community garden, tips on healthy eating for healthy aging, and plenty more.