Turning 20 is a remarkable milestone for Food First NL, and as with any milestone, it presents us with an opportunity to take stock – to look back to our origins, reflect on what we’ve accomplished, and plan for where we want to go.
Through our partnership with Farm to Cafeteria Canada, Food First NL acts as the provincial lead in establishing the continent-wide “Farm to School” movement in Newfoundland & Labrador. In late October, we trained in the latest 3 local schools to have adopted Farm to School programs in our province.
We turned 20 in 2018. 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 food security in NL).
To improve residents’ access to fresh fruit in the area, Peggy Caines, Our Food Security Coordinator in Recontre East, and her committee are establishing a Fruit Program
With 86 Events and 115 speakers, Food Secure Canada’s Resetting the Table Assembly is being touted as the country’s “largest and most vibrant food gathering.”
Read up on Guaranteed Annual Income as a means to address poverty-induced hunger, the throes of shrugging off the “Starving Student” stereotype, why hunters in NL cannot donate meat to food banks, why meat producers are moving away from antibiotic use, the success of the Clarenville Farm & Market, and more.
Nearly 1 in 4 single parents, and 1 in 9 people living alone in our province struggle to access adequate healthy food in our province. To address statistics like these, the Everybody Eats Action Group on Cost of Food & Household Food Insecurity has drafted the first Cost of Food in NL report in over a decade.
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.
Kristie & Sarah are fresh back from Coast of Bays, where we’re working with 3 communities to improve access to healthy, affordable food: Miawpekuk First Nations, Pool’s Cove, and Rencontre East – the latter is accessible only by ferry.
“The type of food procured by public institutions can play a big role in shaping the health, economy, and food system of our province,” says Ferber.
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.
In the Coast of Bays, community conversation around food security continues to yield immediate positive change and collaboration, including the new gardening initiatives outlined in this blog post.
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.
Donna and Garth were married before their town had electricity, and therefore refrigeration, so bottling was a common practice to preserve foods. The video shows us how easy bottling is, by walking us through Donna’s recipe for bottled beets. She even reveals her own prized recipe
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.
When Garfield’s father-in-law asked him to promise he’d keep the community garden green in Port Blandford, he picked the right man for the job. This video is full of very simple, but very effective tips for home gardening
Marg taught grade 6 before retiring. In this video she teaches us how easy it is to grow your own potato patch year to year without having to buy your own seed. She's kept her own garden patch since she moved to Gander in 1964
Unlike most of us, Hope & Lewis never have to run to the store for a bottle of jam, because they grow a bounty of berries in their backyard. In this video, Hope walks us through her technique for making freezer jam; an alternative to cooked jam.
Penashue is a grandmother to 53 grandchildren: that’s a lot of people to pass her wisdom along to, and she has plenty of food skills to share.