Nourishing Potential – the fund providing food and nutrition education to kids – was developed in response to a need identified by many of the organizations The Winnipeg Foundation works with. Nourishing Potential has helped hundreds of Winnipeg kids, but it addresses only a fraction of the issue.
Food security issues in our city are increasingly top of mind. Many Winnipeggers live in food deserts – meaning they don’t have access to healthy and affordable food in their neighbourhoods. Many children and families don’t know what it means to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, nor do they know how to prepare healthy food. Many Winnipeggers are just too busy to eat well. And many would love to grow a garden – but just don’t have the space.
Food insecurity isn’t just a low-income issue either – for example, according to a Food Matters Manitoba study, two-thirds of the city’s St. Vital residents don’t eat the recommended number of fruits and veggies, 70 per cent are overweight or obese, and only 11 per cent live within walking distance of a grocery store.
There is some incredible work already taking place in Winnipeg and Manitoba to address food security issues. The Winnipeg Food Share Co-op’s Good Food Box helps people access healthy and affordable food. And Food Matters Manitoba’s annual Growing Local Conference – that was held this weekend – provides a forum for hundreds of attendees to learn and discuss a variety of food topics: from DIY food skills and production workshops to sustainable agriculture, and from indigenous and northern issues to food justice. But there is still lots to be done.
Part of The Winnipeg Foundation’s mission is to provide community leadership by recognizing opportunities to serve the public good. Convening discussions on food security seems a natural fit. In the coming months we will be looking for ways we can do this. We welcome your input – call Stacy Cardigan Smith, Communications Officer, at 204-944-9474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winnipeg Foundation’s Nourishing Potential Fund supports child and youth nutrition programs. Planned to be a $5 million endowment built over five years, it will ultimately generate approximately $250,000 annually for granting.
Donors from all walks of life, who share our interest in child and youth nutrition, have supported the fund with their gifts. To date, almost $2 million has been raised towards the goal and more than $360,000 in grants has been distributed to 56 different organizations that provide after-school, drop-in, and summer food programs for children and youth.