About the Winnipeg Food Council
The Winnipeg Food Council is a Citizen Advisory Committee established by Winnipeg City Council. Its function is to:
- Advise Mayor and Council on food system-related issues.
- Support the work of the community on food issues, enhance public health and local food security, and increase food literacy, and access to food by encouraging multi-sector and strategic approaches, fostering coordination and networking, and supporting ongoing consultation.
- Initiate the development of and support the implementation, maintenance and evaluation of a City of Winnipeg Agricultural and Food Strategy to address municipal food security and food system issues.
The Winnipeg Food Council reports to the Executive Policy Committee.
Our vision and mission
Our vision is for all Winnipeggers have what they need to eat well, all of the time.
Our mission is to work with Mayor, Councillors and the Public Service to fix food systems issues by advising on policy, relaying research and sharing lessons learned through continual consultation.
The Winnipeg Food Council has a maximum of 12 members. Members represent the local food system from the following sectors:
- City Council
- Food production
- Food businesses
- Academia and research
- Community groups or networks connected to food issues
- Citizen members at large with specific skills, experience and interests to increase diversity and add value to particular initiatives
- The Province of Manitoba (non-voting)
Food Council Members are chosen based on their knowledge and expertise with food systems work. With the exception of the non-voting member, Food Council members’ participation on the Food Council remains independent of their place of employment or other citizen involvements.
- Councillor Jason Schreyer (Chairperson)
- Councillor Russ Wyatt
- Martina Gornik-Marion – Health (Nominated by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)
- Manas Banerjee – Food Production
- Hannah Baxter – Food Business
- Michaela Calderwood – Citizen Member
- Hanif Hassan Ali – Citizen Member
- Dustin Hoft – Research
- Abby Legaspi – Community Group
- Carly Minish – Food Production
- Asha Nelson – Citizen Member
Winnipeg Food Council history
Over 10 years ago, community groups concerned about food began their work to address food policy at the municipal level. These individuals and groups realized that food issues must be addressed from multiple perspectives, and that to make the greatest impact, all sectors – public, private, and non-profit – must work together.
In 2014, the Riel Community Committee directed the Public Service to research how to protect the interests of those living on land zoned for agricultural purposes. This led to a report, “Accommodating the Interests of Winnipeg’s Agricultural Community,” which included a recommendation to research and talk to members of the food community about potential governance structure, role and formation of a Winnipeg Food Policy Council.
June 2, 2015
Family Farm report recommends that the Winnipeg Public Service engage key stakeholders to get information on formation, role and governance structure of a Winnipeg food Policy Council.
Summer 2015 – Winter 2016
Urban Planning Division conducts Food Policy Council research about other food councils and the City of Winnipeg context; preparation of research report.
Summer – Fall 2016
Key stakeholder conversations and public engagement to get recommendations about formation, role and governance of a Winnipeg Food Policy Council, and preparation of final administrative report for Council review and decision.
After research, stakeholder, and public consultations, City Council approved the formation of the Winnipeg Food Council on February 22, 2017. A public call for membership was issued and membership was approved by City Council in June 2017.
Council decision re: Food Council formation, and Terms of Reference established
Food Council membership established
The Winnipeg Food Council officially started meeting in January 2018. Committee appointments are made in accordance with the City’s policy on citizen appointments to Boards and Commissions.
January 12, 2018
First Winnipeg Food Council meeting