“Food is the hook. It’s the commonality.”
– Kristina McMillan, Director,
NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre Winnipeg
What is a Community Food Centre?
The Alex Community Food Centre (CFC) is a welcoming place for people to come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food for all. The CFC provides people with access to high-quality food in a dignified setting through healthy meals and an affordable produce market. People learn cooking and gardening skills, and kids get their hands dirty in the garden and kitchen in ways that expand their tastebuds and help them make healthier food choices. Community members find their voices on the issues that matter to them, and people find friends and support. CFCs offer multifaceted, integrated and responsive programming in a shared space where food builds health, hope, skills and community.
Along with our partners, Community Food Centres Canada, we envision a Canada where everyone has the means and knowledge necessary to access good, healthy food in a dignified way, and the ability and opportunity to be heard on the food issues that affect them. We envision a robust, diverse food economy that sustains farmers and the land, and a social consensus that food is a key determinant of health and a public good.
Healthy Food Access
Food Access Programs offer healthy food to those in need in a respectful and dignified manner.
- Drop-in community meals
- Affordable produce market
- Pedal powered smoothies for kids
Healthy Food Skills
Food Skills Programs develop healthy food behaviours and skills, primarily in the areas of gardening and cooking.
- International Ave Kitchen
- Kids in the Kitchen
Education & Engagement
Education & Engagement Programs work to give individuals and communities voice and agency on food and hunger issues.
- Cooking Up Justice
- Advocacy Office
- Community Action Training
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Meet Gord and Tanya
Gord and his wife Tanya grew up in food-insecure households. “I didn’t eat vegetables as a kid,” says Gord. “I didn’t eat much of anything.”
Though both Gord and Tanya work, making ends meet is tough: they are key providers to their immediate and extended family, and help Tanya’s sister and her son, who has special needs. The financial pressure on them is high. For years now, quick, cheap, and accessible fast foods, soda, and processed snacks have been the foundation of their daily meals.
Joining their local Community Food Centre has been a big change for them. Their a-ha moment came when they learned how much sugar goes into the most common convenience food items. That’s when the alarm bells really went off.
“There’s fruit and vegetables in my meals now. There’s no foil or shiny wrappers. I’m not unwrapping my meals anymore.”
Gord has lost weight and his blood pressure readings have come down. Both he and Tanya are eating less sugar and are cooking more at home. Gord is even jogging 3.5 km every day to pick Tanya up at work.
“We have a new awareness that eating well changes the way you can be active. I’ve never felt this good in my life.”