I’ve been working in the world of food for nearly 20 years but I still can’t tell a grain from a legume. This realization came home to me, quite literally, when my 12-year-old son was doing a Canada Food Guide project for school and asked me what category chickpeas fall into—grains, or meat and alternatives.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the light-drenched main room at Calgary’s The Alex Community Food Centre is the promise written in loopy script above the open kitchen: “Good food is just the beginning….” Or maybe it’s the bright chairs in Crayola red and blue and green. Or the large family-style tables where everyone gathers to eat delicious homemade meals together. Wherever your eyes happen to land, it’s clear the entire centre is designed to make people in this diverse low-income community feel at home.
Last month we held the Community Food Centres Manager’s Meeting. This two-day event was the first of many Manager’s Meetings that CFCC plans to host in the coming years. Managers and Directors from the newest CFC’s in Dartmouth, Winnipeg and Regent Park (Toronto) came to Toronto to visit and learn from other CFC staff at The Stop (Toronto), The Table (Perth) and The Local (Stratford) CFCs.
"Manitoba has cultivated a strong food movement over the past decade, illustrated by an increasing interest in local food, revival of farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture, urban chickens and organic home vegetable gardening. This food revolution is built upon supporting what we know to be best environmental practices: local, sustainable and organic. The movement has championed a 'vote with your fork' mentality, as supported by Michael Pollan, amongst others, and has strengthened the ties between urban residents and rural producers.