Our Food NL: Coast of Bays
This project is helping residents of the Coast of Bays
gain easier access healthy, affordable food.
A new community garden and livestock program was established in Pool's Cove to combat food security.
The Coast of Bays region of our province is the south-central portion of Newfoundland, and is home to 22 communities that span Fortune Bay, Bay d’Espoir, and the Connaigre Peninsula. 21 of these 22 communities are classified as remote by Stats Canada.
After a comprehensive selections process, in partnership with a number of organizations and advisers listed below, The Coast of Bays was selected as the most recent region of the province to work with for the Our Food NL project.
We're Working with 3 Communities in Coast of Bays
To read more about food security challenges in these communities, and the programs that are being established to address these issues, click the Read More buttons below.
Miawpukek First Nation
76% of residents were surveyed as part of this project; 91% of whom said they wanted better access to healthy food, and 75% felt healthy food was too expensive. 3 new programs are in development as a result of this project in Miawpukek: a community farm, to improve community food self-sufficiency, a community food engagement program that will infuse existing community policies and programs with food education and awareness opportunities, and a program aimed at sharing food skills and knowledge with youth.
47 out of 50 households were surveyed as part of this project, and 98% of survey respondents said they wanted better access to healthy food; 69% of residents reported having to travel out of town to buy groceries, and the nearest grocery store is a 55-km drive. 3 new programs are in development as a result of this project in Pool's Cove: a livestock rearing program, a community garden, and a community freezer, which will distribute wild foods to those who cannot hunt, fish, and forage themselves.
Rencontre East is accessible only by ferry, and the nearest grocery store is 77 kilometers away. This remoteness makes it a challenge for retailers to stock healthy, perishable food. As a result, 70% of the community reported infrequent access to healthy food, and 66% of residents felt healthy food is too expensive. 3 new programs are in development as a result of this project in Rencontre East: a backyard gardening & composting program, a food education program, and a fruit program that is identifying wild fruit trees, and planting new ones.
Partners on the Project
We enlisted the help of various advisers in narrowing in on the Coast of Bays and selecting these communities and executing this project, including the Office of Public Engagement at Memorial University, MUN Harris Centre, the CEOs of Municipalities NL and Community Sector Council NL, Regional Nutritionists at Central & Western Health Authorities, and the FRC Community Advisory Committee Joint Mayors Committee.
Trina Mercer, Primary Health Care Facilitator for the Coast of Bays Region, and Sandra Dominee, Public Health and Community Development Nurse continue to support this work in the Coast of Bays. Trina’s work really focuses on healthy living and eating, and Sandra’s on how to engage and mobilize community groups with regards to specific needs. The towns of Pool's Cove, Rencontre East, and Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi are primary partners on this project.