The newest graduates of our Newcomer Nutrition Mentor Program made fast friends during our program that finished up this June at Food Matters Manitoba. This is truly a vibrant and motivated group! Each Mentor is a newcomer themselves and has a university degree in nutrition. They combine this education and experience as a newcomer to Canada to support more recent newcomers in the community to navigate a new food environment.
These Newcomer Nutrition mentors spent four mornings in June together reviewing nutrition basics such as food safety, label reading, menu planning, and grocery shopping in Canada. Mentors then learned how to facilitate these topics in a community setting through discussion and hands-on activities. Each person took on role-playing facilitation to practice in front of each other with impressive confidence! Mentors quickly made connections and enjoyed learning from each other’s experiences and about other cultures in this diverse group.
Food is always a great way to bond and this group was no exception. We started and ended each morning in a circle where we shared stories and insight on topics including early food memories and favourite foods to make from each mentors home countries. It was clear throughout the training that these Mentors are in a unique position to help support other newcomers. They have personal experience with many of the same barriers that other newcomers to Canada face in feeding themselves and their families and are eager to share these experiences. Upon completion of the program, each graduate received a certificate. Mentors are ready to use their training to facilitate programming with Food Matters Manitoba and other community organizations.
The Newcomer Nutrition program aims to help newcomers to Manitoba gain confidence in a new food system by learning how to read labels, to budget, and to make easy recipes made with ingredients that are readily available in grocery stores.
If you believe in good food for all in Manitoba donate here.
Written by Tressa Alexiuk, Program Coordinator