For the past two years Tara has worked as the Food Security/Greening Coordinatorat North End Community Renewal Corporation. She’s behind a variety of food-related programs, including cooking classes, mom and baby nutrition classes, community gardens, the North End Farmers’ Market and a free grocery store shuttle service. Behind all she does is the belief that community residents should be offered a hand up, not a hand out.
“I’m empowering people by giving them a free ride to the grocery store. I’m not just handing over a box of free food all the time,” she says. “It’s about giving them choices.”
Tara is one of 31 food champions to be nominated for this year’s Golden Carrot Awards.
The Golden Carrots are an annual event to acknowledge community food champions who are working hard to create a just and sustainable food system in Manitoba.
“These often unsung heroes are doing work that makes a tremendous difference for a more food secure Manitoba,” says Stefan Epp-Koop, program manager with Food Matters Manitoba, which organizes the awards.
“The awards are an inspirational opportunity to hear about some of the great work happening in our province and acknowledge those people whose hard work is making a difference in communities across Manitoba,” he says.
Nominations are accepted in seven areas: rural, urban, northern, business, media, education and youth.
Some of this year’s nominees include the Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative, Brandon Community Garden Network, horticultural therapist Cheryl Cohan, Saigon Jon’s Vietnamese Kitchen owner Johnny Kien, U of W chef Ben Kramer, CBC Manitoba’s Ismaila Alfa, Ciao! Magazine, CMU instructor Kenton Lobe, Northern Manitoba Funding Collaborative’s Julie Price and Andrea McIvor’s class at D.R. Hamilton School in Cross Lake. A complete list of nominees and their bios can be found here.
“It’s great,” Tara says of the nomination. “It’s really nice to be alongside people like [fellow nominee] Moneca Sinclair, who is so amazing and is someone I look up to.”
Since the awards’ inception seven years ago, over 200 Manitobans have been honoured.
Although emphasis is placed on all the nominees, a distinctive nominee is selected in each category, Epp-Koop says.
The awards will be handed out on World Food Day, Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Rotunda Hall at the Manitoba Legislative Building at 9:30 a.m.