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Latest updates 03/05/2015

Winnipeg has a new place where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food for all. On Friday, March 13, the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre will officially open its doors to the public with a ribbon-cutting and community celebration.

Developed in partnership between NorWest Co-op Community Healthand Community Food Centres Canada (@aplaceforfood), the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre (@NorWestCFC) is the first of its kind in Western Canada. It is the fifth Community Food Centre in Canada, and joins four existing centres in Ontario (including The Stop in Toronto) and developing centres in Dartmouth and Calgary in working to increase access to healthy food in low-income communities and providing respectful spaces where food builds physical and mental health, hope, and more connected communities. Community Food Centres Canada aims to build 12 Community Food Centres by 2017.

The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre will provide the diverse and multicultural population of Winnipeg’s Inkster neighbourhood with a much-needed community space where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather around healthy food. Many Inkster residents struggle with unemployment, poverty, chronic disease, food insecurity and social isolation (see Fast Facts below). The Community Food Centre will provide people of all ages with greater access to healthy food through free community meals, and an affordable produce market and outdoor bake oven; will increase food skills through community kitchens and gardens and food education programs for kids; and will engage the community through peer advocacy support, community action, and volunteering opportunities. The Centre will extend the existing primary care and social services currently provided by NorWest Co-op Community Health.

“Food is something that connects us all. Our beautiful new Community Food Centre is a dignified space where the community can truly come together. Through the power of good food, we can build health, hope and connection in Inkster,” says Kristina McMillan, director of the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre.

“The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre will be a positive and transformative force in this community, and we are thrilled to be working with such a knowledgeable and respected partner to bring it to life,” said Nick Saul, President and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. “Through this and other Community Food Centres, we’re striving to make a coordinated investment in preventive, community-building solutions that address seemingly intractable problems of hunger, poor health and social isolation in new and innovative ways.”

The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre was made possible through core support from CFCC and funding from local government, private foundations and individual donors. Follow this link for a photo gallery of the space.


Grand opening

When: Friday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, 103-61 Tyndall Ave., Winnipeg


Photo and interview opportunities

Kristina McMillan, Community Food Centre Director

Nancy Heinrich, Executive Director, NorWest Co-op Community Health

Nick Saul, President and CEO, Community Food Centres Canada

Hon. Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Family Services, Housing and Community Development

Mike Pagtakhan, City Councillor - Point Douglas

Ivan Sabesky, Board Chair, NorWest Co-op Community Health

Community Action Program participants


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Fast Facts: NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre

+ 24 months to complete

+ 4,000 square feet of space

+ 14 programs, including a free Community Lunch, Living Well with Diabetes Cooking Group, Filipino Families Cooking Group, Kids Smoothie Drop in, and Community Action Program.

+ 11 locally made community dining room tables (rolled in by 15 volunteers)

+ 575 community members interviewed during the community consultations

+ 25 fruit trees and berry bushes planted, including apple, plum, strawberry, blueberry and cherry.

+ 117 people served at the first community meal

+ 1 outdoor pizza bake oven that will fire 100s of pizzas starting this summer!

+ 1 of 8 Community Food Centres launched or under development across the country


Fast Facts: Inkster

+ 33,000 people live in Inkster

+ 23% of Inkster families are low-income

+ 46% of single individuals in Inkster are low-income

+ 28% of the population are first generation immigrants

+ 27% of neighbourhood residents are Filipino

+ 16% of neighbourhood residents are First Nations

+ 30% of the Inkster population is under the age of 19, making it the youngest community in Winnipeg

+ 1,000 residents live in Gilbert Park Manitoba Housing, across the street from the Community Food Centre

+ 10.7% of neighbourhood residents are living with diabetes, higher than Winnipeg averages

+ 26% of neighbourhood residents have hypertension, the highest in Winnipeg, putting residents at risk of heart disease and stroke


Media inquiries: Bruce Michalski, NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre Fundraiser, 204-612-5709 or

NorWest Co-op Community Health Centre is a forerunner in taking a multi-service, holistic, team approach to health care by providing a wide range of health related services including medical care, counseling, education, community outreach, early learning and childcare. NorWest has been engaging our community in co-operative health and wellness since 1972. To learn more, visit our website

Media inquiries: Christina Palassio, Director of Communications, Community Food Centres Canada, 416-531-8826 ext. 229 or

Community Food Centres Canada provides ideas, resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada so they can establish responsive, financially stable Community Food Centres. These centres work to bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food. With our partners and communities, we are working toward a healthy and fair food system. 

Related links

Find out more about the Inkster community in NorWest's community consultation report

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