EEL GROUND FIRST NATION, September 21, 2018 | A new partnership between Eel Ground First Nation and Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) will see the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre join a national network of Community Food Centres that are working to improve the health and well-being of Canadians dealing with poverty and food insecurity.
Natoaganeg Community Food Centre (CFC) is located on Eel Ground First Nation, a Mi’kmaq First Nation community of 977 people, located on the Miramichi River. Poverty rates in the community are significantly higher than average, and only 20 per cent of the population report having good health, compared with 60 per cent of adults nationwide.
The centre has been offering programs around healthy food access, food skills and knowledge, and education and engagement since 2016. CFCC has collaborated with the organization to establish a locally adapted Community Food Centre model to meet the unique needs of the community, and is providing core funding as part of the partnership.
“As First Nations, we have many challenges, and poverty is one of them,” said Chief Ginnish of Eel Ground First Nation. “Food insecurity is a result of this poverty. In Eel Ground, 40 per cent of the community is dealing with food insecurity, so it’s really important for us to find partners like Community Food Centres Canada that will work with us to help heal the trauma our communities have endured and work toward true reconciliation. Our food plays a role in that.”
The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre will host an open house at their location at 1 Church Road, Eel Ground First Nation on Thursday, October 4 between 3 and 6 p.m. to celebrate the partnership and invite people to learn more about the centre and the programs offered.
“A few years ago, we hosted a series of community meetings exploring the idea of creating a dignified, welcoming space to bring people together around healthy food as a way to deal with the high rates of food insecurity and diet-related illness in the community,” said Chad Duplessie, Manager of the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre. “Through exceptional support and sharing of gifts from the Chief, Council, and community, Eel Ground First Nation created a safe place to share, cook, learn, and create good community vibes. Countless people have helped build the Community Food Centre into what it is today, and without them we would not be celebrating this incredible partnership with Community Food Centres Canada. The future is very bright for the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre, our staff, volunteers, and community members.”
“Canada’s Indigenous populations face disproportionate rates of food insecurity and chronic diet-related illnesses. To create change, we need solutions that are grounded within those communities and developed in collaboration with them,” said Nick Saul, President and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. “We’re proud to be partnering with Eel Ground First Nation on the first Community Food Centre in New Brunswick. We look forward to both supporting and learning from Natoaganeg CFC as they adapt the Community Food Centre model to meet the needs of their community, and act as an example of what can be achieved by building a place for food in First Nations communities.”
The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre offers empowering programs that bring the community together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all. The partnership with Community Food Centres Canada will provide core funding and program support to the CFC to further increase community members’ access to food, resources, and supports.
Chad Duplessie, Natoaganeg Community Food Centre, 506-625-4806
Kennedy Baker, Community Food Centres Canada, 416 531 8826 ext 228
About Natoaganeg Community Food Centre
The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre is located in Eel Ground First Nation near Miramichi, New Brunswick. The centre is a welcoming space for the community to learn, grow, and share healthy food. Sharing food that’s closely connected to the land is at the core of Mi’kmaq culture, and the Community Food Centre works hard to both preserve and celebrate this while creating opportunities to address issues of food insecurity and diet-related illness.
About Community Food Centres Canada
Since 2012, Community Food Centres Canada has been working with partners to build and support vibrant places in low-income communities that build health, belonging, and social justice through the power of food. Find out more at www.cfccanada.ca