Q & A with HEPAC
Chad Duplessie is the Manager of the Natoaganeg Community Food Centre- Pistamune’kemk on Eel Ground First Nation. He has been working in Wellness/Community Development for about 10 years and has worked with HEPAC in the past! Also he’s a city councilor for the city of Miramichi!
The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre started about 2 years ago- it started originally through a universal school food program through the Natoaganeg school. They became registered with the Community Food Centres Canada last April and is the only Indigenous Community Food Centre in Canada.
Food Access to people who are food insecure can sometimes be daunting and intimidating, and the food they access can sometimes be not the best quality/highest nutritional value. The Community Food Centre is allowing an open space to gather to access food in a dignified and pleasurable atmosphere. When they first opened, there was a major ice storm in the area resulting in massive power outages, which was a major alert to the community that food security can change with a natural disaster/storm/loss of services.
In the Miramichi region, there’s lots going on with the food activity- the city recently put in place a Neighborhood Matching Grant which matches neighborhood initiatives (volunteer hours, cash, etc). One recently was a Food Forest to be established in the city and another was the establishment of the first community garden in the city. These were established in partnership with Jim Diers, a specialist in Community Development.
There’s a food hub conversation happening in the city to bring services and healthy eating into one place as well. There seems to be a resurgence to getting back to healthy eating! Hooray!
Chad’s top 3:
place in NB: Miramichi
Favourite food: Jenny Special at Red Satay Grill in Moncton
Favourite activity: Playing Fortnight on the Switch with his son and trying to do the dances
Natoaganeg Community Food Centre: https://www.natoaganegcfc.ca/
NB Food Security Action Network: http://www.nbfoodsecurity.ca/
Jim Diers: http://www.neighborpower.org/
Red Satay Grill feat. The Jenny Special: http://www.redsataymoncton.ca/index.php/2-uncategorised/3-appetizers-entrees