A message from the
Food First NL Board Chair & Executive Director
This is an exciting year for the Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador, as it’s the year we officially change our name to Food First NL.
The Food Security Network of NL was founded in 1998 as a result of a recommendation from a local action group of Dietitians of Canada in response to growing concerns of hunger and poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Organization was the first of its kind in Canada—since then, almost every other province and territory have followed suit and there are now nine similar organizations established across the country.
Over the last 17 years, the Food Security Network of NL has grown steadily but stayed true to the mission adopted in 1998, “to actively promote comprehensive, community-based solutions to ensure access to adequate and healthy food for all.”
In the beginning, the organization focused primarily on increasing understanding about food security across the province, and worked to bring about community action and policy. This was done by convening committees, hosting events, submitting briefs, and creating and distributing a newsletter.
2007 was a major turning point, when we hosted the first-ever Food Security Assembly for Newfoundland & Labrador. The Assembly brought together 117 delegates from across the province, representing a diversity of sectors in order to gather ideas and opinions and set a provincial food security agenda.
The Assembly raised awareness about food security, inspired the creation of new community organizations, and pinpointed several priorities for our own organization.
Since then, the Food Security Network of NL has been at the heart of a rapid growth in interest and action on food security in the province, and we now run a diverse set of programs that improve access to healthy food across Newfoundland and Labrador.
We’re eager to embark on this next chapter of the organization. The Food Security Network of NL name has served the organization well as we’ve laid down our roots, established our identity, and raised the issue of food security in the province.
The name change to Food First NL celebrates the evolution of the organization to meet the needs and address the food security issues of today. This new brand stays true to our mission and goals, and its simplicity helps reflect our aim to bring food to the forefront and simplify the issue in Newfoundland & Labrador.
Our province continues to face major health, environmental, economic, and social challenges—including high rates of chronic disease, a changing climate, an unstable economy, and continuing high rates of poverty.
Food is intimately connected to many of these challenges, and is where we should look for innovative solutions. Food isn’t just an obstacle, it’s part of the solution.
At this turning point, it’s important to acknowledge the founding members of the Food Security Network of NL, who recognized the importance of these issues and who put in great efforts to establish the organization. Without their foresight and hard work, this wouldn’t be the organization it is today. Thank you all.
As we set out on this next chapter, we will continue to work closely with our invaluable partners, supporters and members that have helped to grow Food First NL to where we are today, and we look forward to where we will go together tomorrow.