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Fostering Dialogue Around Food Security: Provincial Teleconference Series

FSN hosts regular teleconferences on topics related to food security. Scroll down for full descriptions of our planned teleconferences, as well as recordings of previous teleconferences.

About FSN teleconferences: Participants call in to a toll-free number (Canada & U.S. only) which connects them to the presenter and the other participants. Before the teleconference FSN emails call-in instructions as well as a PDF presentation to follow along with on your own computer.

Previous Teleconferences







June 12th, 2014
Farm to School: Making it Happen in Newfoundland and Labrador

Joanne Bays, National Manager of Farm to Cafeteria Canada spoke about the growing Farm to School movement across Canada and ways to advance Farm to School in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Farm to School programs enrich the connections between the school community and nearby farmers, fishers, hunters and harvesters in order to bring more healthy, local, and sustainable foods into schools. Farm to School programs aim to improve student nutrition, and to increase local food literacy among children and school communities, while contributing to the establishment of strong, resilient, and sustainable regional food systems.

  • Download this Farm to School fact sheet to learn more.
  • You may also be inspired after viewing this video about a successful program in Vancouver.
  • Download the powerpoint presentation.
  • Listen to an audio recording of the presentation (we apologize for the lower quality of this recording).
  • View the summary notes from the discussion.

January 29th, 2014
Municipal Food Policy Strategies

In June 2013 a report titled Municipal Food Policy Entrepreneurs: A preliminary analysis of how Canadian cities and regional districts are involved in food system change was released by the Toronto Food Policy Council, Vancouver Food Policy Council, and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. In a cross-Canada survey, they found that 64 local and regional municipalities are working to improve the food system, using a mix of municipal policies, programs and civil-society interventions. Joanne Bays presented the results of the report, highlighting the role municipalities can play in advancing local food systems.

Presenter: Joanne Bays, National Manager Farm to Cafeteria Canada and Vancouver Food Policy Council member.

Materials from the teleconference:

January 28th, 2014
Local Food in Canadian Schools, Campuses and Health Care Facilities

In 2012 Farm to Cafeteria Canada conducted the first nationwide survey of activities taken by Canadian schools, universities and colleges, and healthcare facilities to provide local food. The purpose was to better understand the activities underway within these settings, the barriers to and impact of such activities, and the types of assistance needed to propel activities forward. The results were released in the October 2013 report Local Foods: Canadian schools, campuses, and health care facilities speak up. Mary McKenna and Roxana Atkinson, both among the authors of the report, presented its results to our audience.


  • Mary McKenna, PhD, RD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and a Registered Dietitian.
  • Roxana Atkinson, RD, is a researcher at the University of New Brunswick, Coordinator of the NB Food Security Action Network, and the Farm to Cafeteria Canada Committee NB lead.

Materials from the teleconference:

November 13th, 2013
Level Best Bulk Buying Clubs

A bulk buying club can help improve food security for participants by increasing physical and economic access to adequate amounts of healthy food. They provide economic, health, educational, and social benefits to participants.

Learn about bulk buying clubs with a presentation about the Level Best Bulk Buying and Cooking Club of the Community Action Committee Family Resource Program and Bay St. George Women’s Centre.

Presenter: Bernice Hancock, Program Director of the Community Action Committee for Southwestern Newfoundland

Materials from the teleconference:

March 25th, 2013
Nutrition Month 2013: Best Food Forward: Plan, Shop, Cook, Enjoy!

Healthy eating begins at the grocery store, as this is where we purchase most of our food. Yet this is also where we are bombarded with thousands of choices. March 2013's Nutrition Month Campaign – Best Food Forward: Plan Shop Cook Enjoy! – is dedicated to serving up practical advice on navigating the grocery store from Registered Dietitians, the food and nutrition experts.

This teleconference brings together dietitians and the Food Security Network NL in providing advice on how to shop for nutritious food at the grocery store, the farm, and the garden. Plan for healthy meals while incorporating local food into your diet.

Nutrition Month is an annual campaign of the Dietitians of Canada. For more information and tips, visit

Who will benefit from this teleconference?

  • This teleconference will be a great resource for organizers of community kitchens, buying clubs, and family nutrition programs. Pass on the knowledge to your program participants.
  • Parents looking to make meal planning healthier and incorporate local food into their diets.
  • Anyone looking to become more informed on how to shop for healthy food, and how to shop locally.


  • Vanessa Young, Regional Nutritionist, Central Health
  • Lisa Dooley, Clinical Dietitian, Eastern Health

Materials from the teleconference:

January 16th, 2013
University Food - Highlighting Sustainability at Mount Allison University’s Dining Services

For our second teleconference in our university food series, presenter Michelle Strain, Director of Administrative Services at Mount Allison University, gave an overview of Mount Allison's dining services. Topics included the university's efforts to provide more local and sustainable food, to implement environmental initiatives in the dining hall and to close the loop on food waste by composting on site.

Presenter: Michelle Strain, Director, Administrative Services, Mount Allison University

Materials from the teleconference:

December10th, 2012
Garden Mind Gardening Workshop

As the winter approaches gardeners typically close down their gardens until the spring. A new organization in St. John's is promoting novel ways to garden indoors all year long. Garden Mind offers free workshops and home consultations in the St. John's are. FSN organized this teleconference so that gardeners all over the province would have an opportunity to learn about the innovative gardening techniques Garden Mind is promoting.

Danilo González Diaz, with Garden Mind, gave a great presentation on indoor, vertical, small space, greenhouse, and urban gardening, as well as a great overview of seed starting.

Materials from the teleconference:

November 6th, 2012
Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL

Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador partners with schools, communities, volunteers and sponsors to set up and support nutritious food programs called Kids Eat Smart Clubs, organized by volunteers for school aged children throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. There are over 200 Kids Eat Smart Clubs in the province.

Adequate nutrition is fundamental for good health and the ability to concentrate and learn. Yet, according to some research, only 49 % of Canadian girls and 36 % of Canadian boys eat breakfast on a regular basis. Kids Eat Smart Clubs are an important way to ensure that children have access to the nutrition they need.

Presenter Daphne LeDrew, Executive Director, Kids Eat Smart Foundation NL about the work that Kids Eat Smart does and how you can get involved with a Kids Eat Smart club in your community.

Materials from the teleconference:

May 23rd, 2012
University Food: Highlighting the University of Winnipeg’s Sustainable Food Programs

Universities play a vital role in a community’s food system through producing and purchasing food, feeding students and staff, and disposing of food waste and packaging. Universities across North America are looking at new ways to improve their local food systems by incorporating food production on campus, developing sustainable and local food procurement practices, and adopting recycling and composting programs.

The Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador’s new Institutional Food Policy Committee is hosting a series of teleconferences highlighting healthy and sustainable University food policies across Canada, starting off with the innovative work at the University of Winnipeg. Presenters from the University provided an overview of the University of Winnipeg’s Green Procurement Policy and their Diversity Food Services Program.

Keynote Presenters:

Materials from the teleconference:

May 8th, 2012
Agricultural Land Use in Newfoundland and Labrador

Local food production and protection of agricultural land are important to food security in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Presenter Hazen Scarth, with the Department of Natural Resources, presented an overview of the status of the agricultural industry with an emphasis on food production, and also discussed changes on the farm including production, farm population/aging, and food consumption.

Materials from the teleconference:

February 28th, 2012
Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas are regions of the ocean that have been restricted from fishing or other uses to foster protection, rebuilding, and recovery of marine ecosystems.

Fred Winsor, Conservation Chair with the Atlantic Chapter of Sierra Club Canada, presented on the use of Marine Protected Areas in Canada and around the world.

Materials from the teleconference:

January 30th, 2012
Happy Valley-Goose Bay Children's Garden

Starting in the spring of 2011, students in Happy Valley-Goose Bay learned about something new: seed starting. It’s all thanks to a new volunteer run initiative that sees elementary school students planting seeds in April to be transplanted to a children’s garden in the summer. The program partnered with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s summer recreational program, whose participants tended to the children’s garden throughout the summer months.

Keynote Speaker Jill Airhart, coordinator of the children's garden program, provided an overview of how she and other volunteers started this successful program, including partnership development, funding, activities and workshops, and more.

Materials from the teleconference:

September 21st, 2011
Sustainable Fisheries

Kristen Lowitt, PhD Candidate at Memorial University, gave an overview of fisheries' contribution to food security both in Newfoundland and Labrador and globally.

David Adler, Coordinator of Off the Hook Community Supported Fishery, spoke about the seafood marketing innovation, Atlantic Canada's first Community Supported Fishery. It is in its second season of providing consumers in Halifax with sustainably harvested seafood caught by a co-operative of small-scale, groundfish bottom hook and line fishermen from the Bay of Fundy. Subscribers pay at the beginning of the summer season for weekly shares of the co-op’s catch of fresh whole haddock and hake.

Materials from the teleconference:

June 21st, 2011
Composting: From Organic Waste to Wealth

Anne Madden, Education Coordinator at MUN Botanical Garden, presented on everything you need to know about composting:

  • How composting works
  • Benefits of composting
  • How to build a compost pile
  • The ingredients of a successful compost
  • What are the types of compost bins
  • Vermicomposting (worm bins)
  • How to use compost
  • More helpful tips!

Materials from the teleconference:

May 31st, 2011
Farm Direct Marketing: Making the Family Farm Sustainable

Lorenda Ebbett owns and operates Meadow Brook Farm, near Tatamagouche, NS. Meadow Brook is a mixed livestock farm with a focus on directly marketing the products they raise.

Lorenda gave an overview of the pros and cons of direct marketing methods, examples from her own farm experience, and tips and considerations for those considering marketing their farm products directly.

Materials from the teleconference:

March 29th, 2011
Community Garden Season Extension

With our short growing season and cool climate, many gardeners find themselves stuck on what to grow and how to get more from their gardens. This teleconference was an opportunity for community garden organizers and participants to learn from an experienced Newfoundland gardener and horticultural consultant.

Keynote Speaker: Ross Traverse, author of “Ask Ross Traverse About Gardening: Practical Advice for Gardeners in a Cool Climate“ and owner and operator of Traverse Gardens in Torbay, NL.

Ross gave a great presentation on the following topics, followed by a question and answer session:

  • Greenhouses
  • Cold frames and hot beds
  • Soil heating
  • Plastic mulch and row covers
  • Artificial light for growing inside
  • Raised beds with plastic covering
  • Growing transplants
  • Crops to extend the season

Materials from the teleconference:

January 20th, 2011
Farmers' Markets: Making Connections

In recent years Newfoundland & Labrador has experienced an incredible growth in Farmers' Markets across the province. This past season saw 10 full- and part-time Farmers’ Markets operate in communities spanning St. John’s to Fogo to Stephenville.

Keynote Speakers:

This teleconference was a chance for existing markets and those thinking of starting up new markets to share best practices. We discussed:

  • How to run and sustain a market in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Vendor recruitment techniques – including farmers, craftspeople, and artisans
  • Table fee structures and other operational topics

Materials from the teleconference:

July 7th, 2010
Land Trusts: A Citizen's Tool for Conservation

Land Trusts are a vital tool for the protection of conservation areas, but one which has historically been underused in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Lawyer and FSN Board Member Aaron Felt gave an overview of Land Trusts.
  • Douglas Ballam, NL Director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) gave a brief overview of the NCC's Land Trusts and Land Trust management.

Materials from the teleconference:

March 19th, 2010
March is Nutrition Month: Celebrate Food from Field to Table

Keynote Speakers:

  • Registered Dietitian Margie Coombes gave a presentation about the Dietitians of Canada National Nutrition Month 2010 Campaign.
  • Local farmer and Statistics Professor Matthew Atkinson presented on Why Supporting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a Healthy Choice.

Materials from the teleconference:

March 5th, 2010
Food Security Working Groups: Developing Sustainable Food Systems

Keynote Speaker: Dr Rebecca Schiff, Assistant Professor in Social Justice at the University of Regina, gave a brief history of food security working groups.

There are currently Food Security Working Groups in: Burin, Corner Brook, Gros Morne Area, Labrador City, and Goose Bay

Materials from the teleconference:

February 5th, 2010
Community Gardening: Building Communities & Growing Together

Keynote Speaker: Dr Angela Loucks-Atkinson from the Community Garden Alliance provided an overview of the Basics of Starting Up a Successful Community Garden.

There are Community Gardens in St. John's, Glenburnie-BirchyHead-Shoal Brook, St. Anthony, Norris Point, Burin, Stephenville, Fogo. and more!

Materials from the teleconference:

November 27th, 2009
Farmers' Markets

Keynote Speaker: Don Black, Coordinator, Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative

Download an audio recording of the presentation and following Q&A session. The recording has been edited to include only the voices of Kristie Jameson and Don Black.

October 20th, 2009
Food Security Panel: Perspectives of Food Security

Keynote Speakers:

  • Eugene Legge, President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Federation of Agriculture (NLFA), spoke about Food Availability.
  • Annette Stapenhorst spoke about Food Access and Peoples' Right to Food.
  • Stephanie Buckle, Regional Nutritionist with Western Health, spoke about Food Use and Community Kitchens.

Materials from the teleconference:

July 27th, 2009
Buying Local: Supporting Our Local Producers

Keynote Speaker: Stephen Moss & the "Keep it in Kittiwake!" Campaign, Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation

It has been estimated that only 10% of fresh vegetables available in major retailers across Newfoundland & Labrador are produced locally.

The phrase "Buy-Local" is used across the country to promote local food, support local producers, and build a sustainable food system.

Our first Teleconference was a great success thank you to all participants and to our Keynote Speaker Stephen Moss!

Materials from the teleconference:

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