Making small changes in our community
People in Winnipeg’s North End are taking small steps toward healthier communities. Food Matters Manitoba’s Community Tables is a five-week training program that teaches staff and volunteers from community organizations about nutrition, diabetes, healthy cooking and how to make healthy changes in their organizations.
Recently, we checked in with some of our past participants to see what they’ve been up to:
William Whyte Residents Association
William Whyte Residents Association volunteers attended Community Tables last fall.
Now, for the first time, they’ve started making healthy snacks for young skaters in their winter skating program.
The skating program sees dozens of kids at their centre, so volunteers are using the recipes they learned at Community Tables to whip up healthy snacks that give kids the energy they need to be active and have fun.
“This is part of good health and energy, and skating! [Community Tables] gave us the tools to be able to do it. What’s the point in getting the tools and not using them, correct?” – WWRA volunteer
Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre
After the staff at Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre took part in Community Tables, they asked youth and other programmers at their centre what good food changes they wanted to see happen.
Now, they’re creating healthy food guidelines to set goals for the changes they’re working toward. They’re also imagining new ways to learn from community members about cultural foods.
And the biggest change they’re attempting? Banning all pop and sugary drinks at the centre!
After they attended Community Tables, the Healthy Living Coordinators at Neeginan Centre had Food Matters Manitoba come in to teach a sugar workshop. Soon after, they implemented a no pop rule at their gym.
They also started a Food for Families cooking class that shows students how to use students healthy, low-cost and traditional ingredients. Students can enjoy a meal at the class and are sent home with enough food for a family of four.
Our latest Community Tables session just wrapped up in December, but participants are already taking charge at their organizations.
The cook at Agape Table, a program that serves hundreds of people at a drop-in breakfast, was inspired to cut back on the sugar, salt and fat in the food she dishes out daily.
After one week at Community Tables she took all the salt shakers off her tables. After week two, she stopped putting icing on the cakes she serves for dessert. Much to her delight, folks didn’t even give her a hard time about it.
It’s important to remember that small changes like these add up — a little bit of effort and planning can make a big impact on your community — that’s the power of good food.
What kind of healthy changes do you want to see at your North End community centre? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can support you or to sign up for the next Community Tables session.
Food Matters Manitoba is a registered charity that believes that everyone should have good food to eat.
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