If you need reminding that a whole lot of people care about their food, sit in on the Golden Carrots some time.
This special ceremony is held each October at the Manitoba legislature, to kick off World Food Day and honour resourceful Manitobans who, in one way or another, are making the production, provision and preparation of food the focal point of their lives and their communities.
The awards are presented annually by Food Matters Manitoba (formerly the Manitoba Food Charter) to nominees noted for initiatives they’re taking with food in six categories: business, rural and urban, northern and rural and media and education.
The awards have been presented since 2007. This past Oct. 15 we heard another 38 remarkable stories. From our north, of women such as Kimlee Wong at Sagkeeng First Nation working to start school gardens there, and Connie Cook at Grand Rapids and Misipawistik Cree Nation and her work to bring kids and elders together to learn about the traditional ways northerners ate and provisioned for themselves.
From Winnipeg we heard about Mary Jane Eason and her school where people were learning to bake and cook, and the farmers’ market started on Main Street by Margo Malabar, about how the University of Winnipeg’s food-service business was serving affordable, healthy meals, and of Frig’s Natural Meats and More, a Manitoba butcher specializing in Manitoba-raised meats.
“RURAL FOOD CHAMPION”
Only six Golden Carrots are presented so judges have a tough time deciding who to honour as “nominees of distinction.”
The “rural food champion,” as we told you about in last week’s paper, went to the South Central Manitoba Spring Supper Committee. This is a small group of dietitians and other nutrition professionals who went and linked up with local farmers to prepare a feast of local food.
Their spring dinner March 25 fed about 250 people. Preparing it brought together a whole lot of people in the region whose focus, one way or another, is food, but who had never known much about each other.
“I think it was a community-building opportunity for people interested in food and local food and healthy food,” said Diane Unruh, a clinical dietitian at Carman Hospital who worked on the project. “We met people who we wouldn’t have had an opportunity to work with.”
A PLACE TO HEAR STORIES
The Golden Carrots is a place to hear stories about people and food we might not otherwise never know about. Think about it. This recognition for someone who is doing something special and noteworthy with respect to helping others enjoy and appreciate and have access to food. You will surely know someone or a group in your community that deserves this recognition. Keep them in mind for when we’ll post information on how to submit a nomination again next year.