Local Food Advocates

Anne Marie Males
As VP of Patient Experience at The Scarborough Hospital, Anne Marie Males had heard all the jokes about hospital food. “Strangely, in the health-care industry, we’ve kind of forgotten about the connection between food and health.” So she decided to do something about it: she re-tooled the hospital’s cafeteria to focus on fresh, healthy meals involving local food. Patients loved it, and other healthcare institutions have begun to follow that example. Ms. Males is now a professor at Humber College.
Mara Shaw
Executive Director
Loving Spoonful
Mara brings her professionalism and passion to leading Loving Spoonful, a healthy food non-profit in Kingston Ontario. Loving Spoonful increases fresh food access through fresh food delivery, provides a curriculum-connected school garden program that is expanding to 23 schools, and teaches hundreds of people healthy, easy, affordable cooking in Community Kitchens while advocating for a better food system and poverty reduction.
Sharona Plakidas
Food Policy Consultant
Sharona Plakidas Organics Inc.
I am an organic inspector, food consultant and chef.
Jillian Bishop
Community Food Cultivator/ Market Manager/ Urban seed farmer
Various local food initiatives
Lindzie O'Reilly
Registered Dietitian
University of Guelph
Health Care
Lindzie works as a Registered Dietitian at the University of Guelph where she meets with students for one-to-one nutrition appointments and facilitates workshops and cooking classes on campus. Lindzie aims to inspire a curiousity in students that will drive them to learn more about where their food comes from, how to prepare food for themselves from fresh local ingredients, and the impact that food has on their physical and mental well-being.
Honey Novick
singer/poet/voice teacher/songwriter
Honey Novick is a singer/songwriter/voice teacher/poet who lives in Toronto. She has produced 8 CDs, 8 books of poetry, won numerous awards, is one of the League of Canadian Poets Poet-in-the Schools and Toronto Public Library's Poet in the Library. She is the 2017 winner of the Canada 150 Good Neighbour Award and 2017 awardee of the Dr. Reva Gerstein Legacy Fund for "Voice Yoga" She sings with George Elliott Clarke, Canada's Current Parliamentary Poet Laureate. She is an active and passionate member of the Stop Community Food Centre
Cookie Roscoe
Farmers Market Manager
Food Care
Cookie hails from Manitoba where she worked in film and television before moving to Ontario and starting a family. She noticed how dire food was in the entertainment industry, even really expensive food, and decided to feed her own people better, leading to a lifelong search for ways to support those who produce good food. Cookie manages the Stop's Farmers Market at the Wychwood Barns and the Farmers Market at SickKids. Both markets have long wait lists, both support Ontario Agriculture first and both run through the winter as well as the summer.
Christopher Kelly-Bisson
PhD. Candidate, Political Science - University of Ottawa; Policy Co-Chair - Ottawa Food Policy Council
Academic Research and Civil Society Advocacy
Christopher's research documents agricultural land grabbing by financial entities in eastern Ontario, and seeks to determine the political and economic factors behind the practice. He is also the policy co-chair of the Ottawa Food Policy Council.
Dan Hendry
Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator
Dan strives toward promoting sustainable initiatives for the Limestone District School Board, and manages community-based learning and innovation at St. Lawrence College. His concern for the environment is what drives him to take initiative in promoting sustainable solutions within the Kingston community. Over the years, Dan has built community partnerships with local farmers, businesses, community groups, city employees, politicians, teachers and other community members through his work. Specifically in regards to the food system he helped develop the cooking program Slow Cookers for Kids and was responsible for developing Limestone District School Board's administrative procedure 531 - Development and Maintenance of School Food Gardens Policy.
Ross Sutherland
South Frontenac Township
Community Advocacy
I am a retired registered nurse and have been a municipal councillor for three years. I have been involved in health care, environmental and union politics. I am very interested in supporting the production of local food.
Tara Kainer
Social justice
http://kagbig.wordpress.com; www.basicincomecanada.org While struggling with poverty and social isolation as a single parent in the 1990s, I joined a local group that advocated for increased benefits and better living conditions for Ontarians trying to survive on social assistance. We networked with a broad, cross-section of social justice organizations across the province that addressed systemic causes of poverty. The collaboration led to attempts to increase social assistance rates and when that failed to focusing on increasing the minimum wage and implementing living wages. Now I support basic income as a means of eliminating the oppression and stigma inherent in social welfare programs and of providing an income floor to prevent poverty in the first place. The connection between poverty and health led to my increased interest in food. Food insecurity has significant health effects from cancer to depression, and the more food insecure a household is the higher its health costs. Numerous studies in Canada and the U.S. have shown that over time steadily increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables improves health and decreases future health costs. In particular, the early introduction of a healthy diet to children can create lifelong healthy habits. While adequate income is essential to providing food security, it is possible to increase access to local, nutritious food in low-income populations in a variety of ways. For over 10 years I have been part of Community Harvest Kingston (CHK) which has operated a farmers market in the Rideau Heights neighbourhood of Kingston. CHK's market, supported in part by its own organic garden, offers increased choice to low-income consumers by providing fresh, healthy food at affordable prices. Vouchers available at every market facilitate the purchase of fresh, local, healthy food from CHK's vendors. Community Harvest Kingston's programs also foster sustainable food production, self-reliance, dignity, and community development.
Michelle Ryan
PhD candidate
Tina Stapper
Shana Narciso
Co-owner Real Food Market & Kitchen
Grocery, prepared meals
Jeff Hall
Works in Special Education In the Peel District School Board
Sarah Harmer
Beloved singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer has used her popularity and musical talents to protect farmland from development, to defend the Niagara Escarpment and support the campaign to restore Canada’s prison farms.“We work on local issues because you can effect change more easily than you can on the bigger level. That’s why people really have to come together en masse.”
Wendy Luella Perkins
Minister & Musician
Arts & Faith
A Unitarian Universalist community minister and musician, the Reverend Wendy Luella Perkins works at the intersection of food, faith, and friendship. “I’ve lived in Kingston for over twenty years, but it wasn’t until I got connected with local farmers through the National Farmers Union in 2004, that I really felt PART of the community here. I love knowing, supporting and promoting the folks who bring ecologically grown food from their fields to my fork!” She has organized countless events supporting local food, started a community garden, and created art and music to help eaters develop a stronger connection to farms and farmers.
Alisa Posesorski
Vice President, Editorial
legal publishing
I am a gluten intolerant, cheese-addicted, food obsessed chocoholic and a big supporter of local foods and farmers. I do as much shopping as possible at local farmers markets and use local, seasonal ingredients whenever they are available. I am very interested in the food system, food security, healthy eating, cooking, and sharing food as an important cultural and social activity. While not professionally involved in the food industry, I take a great interest in its welfare and developments which affect it.
Kathy Sturmey
Market Coordinator
Community Harvest Kingston
local food access for low income earners, education, community building
Community Harvest Kingston has been operating an affordable farmers' market in Rideau Heights since 2009. We offer weekly vouchers to our patrons to help them purchase local produce and prepared food as well as to support our local farmers earn some income.
John Richmond
Horticultural Therapist
Health Care/Mental Health and Addictions
Clinical Social Worker and Horticultural Therapist in Parkdale, Toronto. (St. Joes Health Centre Promise Garden and Rocco Family Therapeutic Garden) Active in local food and Urban Ag movement since the 1980s and in cooperative business sector, including finance, credit unions, CED. Co-founder of Sorauren Farmers Market and West End Food Co-op.
Pauline Cripps
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Community Services
Marketing & Communications Coordinator with the Guelph Food Bank
Isabelle Spence-Legault
Field Good Farms / La ferme j'me champs bien
Food production
Sally Miller
Project Manager
Local Food and Farm Co-ops
Sally Miller (BA Princeton, MA, PhD Cornell University, MES York University) has worked in sustainable food and agriculture and co-ops for almost twenty-five years both in Canada and in the U.S. She has worked with a range of co-ops, including the Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Organic Meadow, Fourth Pig Worker Co-op, and West End Food Co-op in Canada, and Greenstar Co-op and Finger Lakes Organic Growers’ Co-op in the U.S.
Charles Levkoe
Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, Professor
Lakehead University
Eduction (University/Commumity)
Charles Levkoe is the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University. He has been involved in community food security and food sovereignty efforts for over 15 years. His community engaged research uses a food systems lens to better understand the importance of, and connections between social justice, ecological regeneration, regional economies and active democratic engagement. Working directly with a range of scholars and community-based practitioners across North America and Europe, Charles studies the evolution of social movement networks that view the right to food as a component of more sustainable futures.
Christina Mann
Taste Real Coordinator
Alan Macdonald
Sustainable education
Local foodbank garden and school garden projects are a few of the some of the hands on ways our students learn about sustainability.
Catherine Tang
Brenda Dales
Executive Director
Peterborough Social Planning Council