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Fundraiser gets people thinking about food security

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The first-ever Food for Folks fundraiser was held at the Ukrainian Labour Temple on Sat., April 28th.


The social-style event featured entertainment by Winnipeg and North End artists, a silent auction and 50-50 draw, fresh catered food, and educational presentations related to food security.


What exactly is Food for Folks? And how does it affect the North End? Unless you travel to Birds Hill Park every July for Folk Festival, you likely have not heard of this non-profit organic fruit market which began in 2010.


Iain Brynjolson, a North End resident and University of Winnipeg student at the school’s Selkirk Avenue campus, spear-headed both the market and the fundraiser. The money raised on Saturday will be invested in necessities like a cash register and canopy, as well as in purchasing produce from the new Neechi Commons Market, which opens this summer. Brynjolson is completing his practicum in urban and inner city studies by planning the fresh produce section of Neechi Commons.


Profits from this Folk Festival market will be invested into food security and urban agriculture projects in the North End. The main goal this year is to create a garden on the vacant lot west of Neechi Foods on Dufferin, which will supply Neechi Commons on Main with organic vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens.


Brynjolson has also created a youth publication called, Eat Street. This comic book-style magazine which creatively features different vegetable/fruit characters in order to increase familiarity, interest, and knowledge regarding healthy foods, will be unveiled at the Winnipeg Zine Fair on May 12 and 13.


Some of the dialogue between characters is taken from responses to the question, "What does food security mean to you?" Brynjolson credits the youth attending Meet me at the Bell Tower events with much of the material for the magazine. Attendees of the April 28 event were also encouraged to write down their answers.


Brynjolson presented his Five A’s of Food Security during the evening:
• Availability: enough food for people


• Accessibility: people can afford it and physically get to it


• Adequacy: food that is healthy, nutritious, and safe


• Acceptability: fits with cultural and traditional customs and does not compromise people’s dignity, self-respect, or self-esteem to obtain


• Agency: political organizations that allow the policies and process of food security
The venue for the event was intentional for Brynjolson. He hopes that it will be the start of many more events of this nature, and the Ukrainian Labour Temple will become known as the North End Cultural Centre.


❑ ❑ ❑


The William Whyte spring clean-up will take place May 11 and 12. Visit www.wwra.ca for more information.


The neighbourhood of St. John’s will host a composting workshop on June 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 417 Salter St.


Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for the North End. You can contact her at sonyajoy@gmail.com.

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