City of Edmonton Nutrition Workshops
Partnering with the City of Edmonton to offer food and nutrition information and guidance for community organizations to assist in supporting their clients.
In collaboration with the City of Edmonton’s Family and Community Support Services Program (FCSS), the Indigenous and Global Health Research Group (IGHRG) partnered with community organizations throughout the city to support healthy food and nutrition services provided to the most vulnerable populations. The IGHRG collected recipes and snack lists from organizations identified by FCSS to review and modify to improve nutritional content in a cost-effective way.
Four roundtable workshops were held, one in each quadrant of Edmonton, with staff members of the participating organizations to provide information on nutrition in food programs, incorporating nutrient dense and culturally-appropriate foods in nutrition programs, and optimizing dollars available for food purchasing. The workshops invited questions and fostered open discussion around challenges faced by community organizations in terms of providing nutrient dense foods, and practical solutions were offered for financial efficiencies in food programs. Further topics for discussion included recipe modification, menu planning and food labels, as well as recognizing the value of traditional foods and honouring culture.
This served as a unique opportunity to develop strong working partnerships between the City, community organizations, and academia. The workshops were more than simply the IGHRG providing information to the organizations. They also provided a venue for sharing and conversation between the staff and volunteers of the participating organizations. This served as an exciting chance to not only provide more nutrition information and education to Edmonton community organizations but also for organizations to share experiences and best practices and learn from each other, as well as to expand the network of support for vulnerable peoples in the community.
Based on positive feedback from workshop attendees, the IGHRG will apply for further funding to modify the information and current materials to develop a training program for staff of community organizations to deliver. The aim would be to create a sustainable program administered by the staff of community organizations, rather than by the IGHRG team.
A copy of the workshop presentation is available here.