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History of the Manitoba Food Charter
See our list of current Manitoba Food Charter signatories.
Manitoba has a long history of action and coalition-building around food security, going back as far as the 1992 document from The Nutrition and Food Security Network of Manitoba, entitled “An Action Plan For Food Security For Manitobans”.
In 2001 and 2002 a broad coalition, FoodSecure Manitoba, brought Rod MacRae, food policy analyst and former coordinator of the Toronto Food Policy Council, to Winnipeg for a strategic visioning session. Areas for concrete action were developed and the group prioritized a food security conference as a first step. This resulted in a two day conference in the spring of the 2003, Our Food - Our Health - Our Future: Making Manitoba Food-Secure. In 2004, Winnipeg hosted the second national Food Security Conference where Food Security Canada was formed.
Shortly thereafter, at a meeting with representatives from around the province, members of the Local Organizing Committee for the National Food Security Assembly in 2004 were instrumental in maintaining momentum and channeling it into the creation of a provincial food charter. Between March and February of 2006, a Steering Committee of dedicated volunteers crisscrossed the province listening to more than 70 groups of people and stakeholders involved in various aspects of Manitoba’s food system. Input came from across the province – 22% in rural communities, 17% in Manitoba’s north, 33% from urban, and 28% from consultations involving mixed regions.
A volunteer drafting committee took the many statements from communities and distilled them into a first draft of the Charter. The draft was presented to participants for feedback which was used by the drafting committee to develop a final draft. The final draft was ratified by the Steering Committee. After this, over 80 individuals from across the province gathered to set priorities for future action for the Manitoba Food Charter project. Staff soon began working in urban, northern, and rural Manitoba to identify concrete actions that individuals and organizations would take towards achieving the vision in the Charter, and the organization was born.
In 2004, the Food Charter Project fully evolved into a Charitable not-for-profit organization, Food Matters Manitoba, that engages, inspires, and empowers people to collaborate and build community capacity around food security. The Food Charter document continues to focus individuals and organizations on the actions they can do to increase food security for themselves and their communities.
October 2010: The new and improved foodmattersmanitoba.ca, home of the Manitoba Food Charter, launches.
Spring 2009: MFC Inc. adopts the new trade name, Food Matters Manitoba, to better reflect the breadth and scope of their work and be more accessible
Fall 2006-Winter 2007: funding, staff, and office space are secured for MFC, Inc.
May 2006: Draft Manitoba Food Charter is launched in Winnipeg
April 2006: Draft Manitoba Food Charter is launched at Rural Forum
2005-2006: consultations with 71 groups of food system stakeholders
March 2005: Meeting at Crossways in Common to initiate Manitoba Food Charter
2004: National Food Security Assembly held in Winnipeg
2003: Our Food - Our Health - Our Future: Making Manitoba Food-Secure
2001-2002: FoodSecure Manitoba
1992: “An Action Plan For Food Security For Manitobans” and the Nutrition and Food Security Network of Manitoba