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Province to announce funding for food centre

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From left, Michelle Kirkbride, Community Development Co-ordintor with NorWest Co-op, Kristina McMillan, Community Food Centre Director, and Marsha Gravador, Primary Care Assistant with NorWest Co-op with moving boxes in what is to become the NorWest Community Food Centre (CFC)

JOHN WOODS / FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

From left, Michelle Kirkbride, Community Development Co-ordintor with NorWest Co-op, Kristina McMillan, Community Food Centre Director, and Marsha Gravador, Primary Care Assistant with NorWest Co-op with moving boxes in what is to become the NorWest Community Food Centre (CFC)

Provincial funding for the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, the first of its kind in Western Canada, is expected to be served up today at a press conference at 11 a.m.

The community food centre, located at Tyndall Avenue and Chudley Street, was announced in April and is expected to open this fall.

"It's a one-stop shop for everything to do with food for northwest Winnipeg," said Kristina McMillan, director of the project, told the Free Press at the April announcement. "That means a lot of new services for the community."

The centre is expected to have between 5-10 employees and more than 30 volunteers to provide programs such as a gardening club and special services such as free meal program.

"We also have cooking classes and cooking groups, so for people who want to learn about healthy cooking, maybe they are wanting to get together with those in their own cultural community and practise some of that cooking," McMillan said.

Along with the food programs, the centre will offer diabetes and prenatal information and a dietitian will be available for consultations.

An advocacy office will be on-site to help with housing issues and unemployment.

"There are major issues in this community. There are high rates of food-bank usage and high rates of food-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. We have people who want to learn how to garden but don't know how. This community food centre will be an answer to a lot of these (challenges)," she said.

Nick Saul of Community Food Centres Canada dropped by the News Café in June to discuss his organization's support of the Norwest Co-op Community Health Centre to open up a community food centre. Watch a replay of the interview here.


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