Food System Champions

MLFPC Food System Champions 2021! 

Jocelyn Zurbrigg, RD, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) As the SOAHAC London site saw their number of food insecurity clients increase three fold during the pandemic, Jocelyn recognized the growing need for support. With her perseverance, SOAHAC was successful in attaining grants from Second Harvest and United Way, plus received donations from the London Business Cares, and support from London Food Coalition and Harvest Bucks. These programs offered temporary relief to families during the pandemic and continue to support SOAHAC families with their Food Hub hampers. These programs opened a line of communication around food insecurity with SOAHAC clients; referring them to community meal programs, the food hub and other social services available in the City of London. Jocelyn also continues to provide nutrition counseling and food literacy programming to clients in her role as Registered Dietitian at SOAHAC.

Nadine Castonguay, EnviroWestern Garden Executive at Western University Nadine Castonguay, a recent Brescia graduate, was the 2020-2021 Garden Executive for EnviroWestern. Nadine led the development of the Community Garden located at Western University. She worked with various stakeholders across campus to organize a new, more visible location for the EnviroWestern Garden, add in the “community” aspect, and utilize old planters, previously used for annuals. In March 2021, Nadine started seedlings in Western’s greenhouses and transplanted them in May, 2021. Once planted, she took care of the gardens from watering and weeding to managing student volunteers throughout the summer. Some of the food grown in the gardens have gone to the London Food Bank. The garden has provided a sense of community at Western. https://news.westernu.ca/2021/06/planting-the-seeds-of-sustainability/

Food Services @ St. Joseph’s London (Nourish Team): Amy Ford, Michelle Stranges, Deana D’Ambrosio, Barb Adams, Trina Smith, Lori Higgs, Michelle Braecker, Brianne Curry
The Food and Nutrition leadership team at St. Joseph’s Health Care London Is reducing food waste within their operations that feed 1,000 people daily. They have set a goal to redirect their safe surpluses to community needs, and to compost the rest. They are actively transitioning to a model with more localized procurement, benefiting many Ontario farmers. They are also taking steps towards the installation of an on-site greenhouse on Parkwood Institute’s grounds which will provide food production capacity for patient and resident meals.

MLFPC awarded these Food System Champions with a wonderful gift basket full of local goodies to enjoy! Many of the items in the gift basket were donated by local organizations and businesses, and we’d like to recognize the donors with gratitude.

Thank you to all the donors who contributed to the Food System Champion gift basket!

Slegers Living Organic Greens https://www.slegersgreens.com

Crunican Orchards https://www.crunicanorchards.com

London Training Centre http://www.londontraining.on.ca

Crinklaw Maple Syrup http://londonsugarbush.com

Nuts for Cheese https://nutsforcheese.com

Heeman’s https://heeman.ca

Urban Roots https://www.urbanrootslondon.ca

Growing Chefs https://growingchefsontario.ca

Thank you to local entrepreneur, Susan Yerema, who made the baskets and was generous in her support of this project.