Latest updates 06/20/2022 When asked about current and future challenges facing our country, youth rate mental health as a top concern. In fact, more than 75 per cent of youth believe young Canadians need more support to safeguard their well-being and fulfill their potential. The factors that contribute to poor mental health amongst youth are complex. But we know that living without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food can significantly impact a young person’s well-being. We also know that adolescence is a critical moment when developing food skills and habits can set a young person up for a lifetime of positive experiences with food, community and culture. This is why Community Food Centres Canada created Mind Your Food (MYF). The program uses food as a means to promote positive mental health in youth living in Indigenous, newcomer, and low-income communities. Communities that, because of systemic racism, colonialism, and discrimination, are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity. Mind Your Food now expanding to new communities Mind Your Food officially launched in 2019 at three Community Food Centres, bringing youth together to explore topics from cultural food traditions to mindfulness to land-based learning. To date, more than 100 youth have completed the program! 97 per cent of participants reported increased knowledge and/or skills, such as a better understanding of the connection between food and mental health. 89 per cent reported an improvement in at least one factor for good mental health, such as developing a wider support network through the program. We’re excited to announce that we’ve received $1.325 million over four years to continue the Mind Your Food program and expand it to four new partners across Canada in the coming year! A big thanks to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund for this generous support. From Vancouver to Iqaluit to Thunder Bay, more young people will have opportunities to cook together, spend time in nature, learn how food impacts the mind and body, and connect with their community. Check out our next blog that dives deep into the Mind Your Food recipe for success! Here’s where the Mind Your Food program will be offered throughout 2022-2023: Harmony Community Food Centre, Toronto, ON Natoaganeg Community Food Centre, Eel Ground First Nation, NB NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, Winnipeg, MB Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre, Iqaluit, NU Roots Community Food Centre, Thunder Bay, ON South Vancouver Neighbourhood House, Vancouver, BC Turnor Lake & Birch Narrows Community Food Centre, Turnor Lake, SK Mind Your Food is funded primarily through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF), which provides national funding to support the delivery of innovative, community-based programs in mental health promotion.