Food Security Network Launches Collection of Food Traditions Videos Showcasing Interviews with Local Seniors

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The Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador (FSN) is thrilled to launch a new collection of short films called All Around the Table, which highlight traditional food skills and knowledge of seniors in Eastern Newfoundland. The films will be available for free viewing online beginning today, Wednesday May 1st, 2013, on the Root Cellars Rock blog. Film screenings are planned for throughout the spring to take place in multiple communities on the Avalon Peninsula. The official launch screening event is this coming Friday May 3rd, 2013 at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre, 256 Water Street, in Carbonear from 2-4pm; refreshments will be served, admission is free and everyone is welcome! 

Interviewee Jim Fitzpatrick at his family's homestead in Carbonear where three  All Around the Table interviews were filmed.

A vegetable garden, laying hens, a fishing boat, berry grounds: when our grandparents were younger, the grocery store was out the back door. Since then, however, Newfoundland and Labrador has become increasingly dependent upon an uncertain global food system, disruptions to which are being felt more frequently on the tables of families here, leading communities to seek more sustainable and healthy local alternatives.

In our search we can look to the traditional ways of growing, preserving, and preparing our food that still make sense today. These traditions live on in the knowledge of older generations; wisdom that has been captured in twelve interviews with seniors from Eastern Newfoundland who share their personal food stories in these videos.

Kristie Jameson, Executive Director of FSN, notes that “as a collection, these videos shed light on how we can start to work towards building a better food system in the province by looking to our past for inspiration.”

All Around the Table touches on several key opportunities, such as the value in supporting local producers and learning to grow our own food in a province where only a 2-3 day supply of produce is available from major wholesalers in the event of a disruption to the supply chain. Fewer people in Newfoundland and Labrador consume at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit than in any other province. The province also has the highest rate of obesity and second highest rate of diabetes in Canada. The traditional practices highlighted in these videos like home food preparation using whole ingredients, preservation of locally harvested food and use of locally abundant wild foods can be part of the toolkit used to address food insecurity.

Local seniors often gather at Turk's Gut Heritage House in Marysvale for enjoyable community events. Three interviews were filmed there last summer. A film screening and meal for community garden participants is planned for this spring.

FSN is partnering with community groups in Carbonear, Riverhead/St. Mary’s Bay, Marysvale and St. John’s to support screenings of the films throughout the spring. Film screenings will accompany other community activities, such as public meals and planning sessions for community gardens.

FSN is a provincial, non-profit organization that was founded in 1998 in response to growing issues of hunger and poverty in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. FSN’s mission is to actively promote comprehensive, community-based solutions to ensure physical and economic access to adequate and healthy food for all.

To view the first video from All Around the Table online starting May 1st visit this page on Root Cellars Rock. Come back every Wednesday from May 1st- July 17th to see each new video as they are shared on the blog.

To host a free community screening of All Around the Table where you live contact Sarah Ferber at 709-237-4026 or

The All Around the Table official launch event on May 3rd, 2013 will be hosted through partnership of FSN with Town of Carbonear, Carbonear Parks and Recreation Commission, St. Patrick's Organic Community Garden, and Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre.

This project was funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.