Agroup of dietitians who teamed up with farmers in south-central Manitoba this spring to serve a community supper have earned a “Golden Carrot” for their efforts.
The South Central Manitoba Spring Supper Committee, which fed 250 a meal of Manitobagrown foods in Morden last March, were presented the award in the rural community food champion category during the Golden Carrot Awards ceremonies at the Manitoba legislature last week.
“The really interesting part of this was having so many people working together on a big project,” says Kim Knott, clinical dietitian at Lorne Memorial in Swan Lake.
Farmers and dietitians learned from each other as they organized this special meal, she added. The idea was spearheaded by another dietitian, Michelle Turnbull, based on the 2010 Nutrition Month theme Celebrate food… from field to table.
This is the fourth year Manitobans have been presented with Golden Carrots for their behind-the-scenes work promoting healthy eating and getting good food on more Manitobans’ plates.
The awards are presented in six categories including rural, urban, northern, business, media and education.
Twelve of the 38 nominees this year were in the rural category for initiatives that included establishing their own gardens and farms to promoting community gardening and working with farmers to develop more markets for locally grown food.
Winnipeg’s North End food security co-ordinator Margo Malabar, who works with city residents’ associations and schools, earned the gold carrot in the urban community food champion category for her work to organize a Main Street farmers’ market, and start urban community gardens and community-based kitchens.
The business community food champion award this year went to chef Ben Kramer and Diversity Food Services, which supplies campus food services at the University of Winnipeg, providing affordable, healthy, and well-balanced meals, made from scratch using ingredients from Manitoba farms.
Commercial fishers Brent and Carol Ballantyne of Misipawistik Cree Nation will be presented with the northern food champion award at a special northern awards ceremony in Thompson Oct. 22. The Ballantynes were honoured for their work teaching local youth about traditional food skills and culture.
The media food champion gold carrot was presented to Grainews, Central Plains Herald andPortage Daily Graphic “Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet” garden columnist Ted Meseyton for his lively column writing on subjects such as natural plant and pest remedies, canning and preserving tips and promotion of local farmers and gardeners.
Sharon Taylor, co-ordinator of the Manitoba Farm Mentorship Program was honoured in the education community food champion category.
Food Matters Manitoba, formerly the Manitoba Food Charter group, presents the Golden Carrots each year timed around events marked on World Food Day Oct. 16.
Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau, who presented the 2010 awards, said Manitobans need innovative and diverse approaches such as those recognized at this ceremony.
Government departments can’t work in isolation on issues such as public health and nutrition, nor can government tackle this on its own, he said. Food Matters Manitoba has engaged Manitobans on these issues.
“This requires action from all components of society. I’m very pleased with the momentum that’s been created by this group.”
For a complete list of Golden Carrot nominees and past award recipients log on to: www.foodmattersmanitoba.ca.