The Ninth Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Association for Food Studies — May 23–27, 2014 —
Brock University (St. Catharines, ON)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Canadian Association for Food Studies recognizes Ellen Desjardins with Public Service Award
Victoria, BC, June 3, 2013
Dr Ellen Desjardins is the recipient of the Canadian Association for Food Studies (CAFS) Public Service Award for 2013.
The award, which recognizes those who have had a significant public service impact in programmes and policies affecting the food system, was given at the annual conference of CAFS held in Victoria, June 1-4.
Dr Desjardins’ leadership and dedication to public service on community food security and healthy and sustainable food systems has been exceptional.
She worked for many years promoting community food security through her work at the Region of Waterloo Public Health, with a combined interest in food, health and equity.
Dr Desjardins has done pioneering work on linking food with community health, environmental considerations, and local economic development.
She was also a founding member of Food Secure Canada in 2005.
Dr Desjardins’ work is well-respected by researchers, planners and other practitioners across and North America on these issues.
She and a small team from the Region of Waterloo Public Health unit were responsible for championing a vision for a ‘healthy food system’, which adapted the work of Trevor Hancock on healthy communities to encompass a healthy rural economy and the agriculture and food sector.
With the Region of Waterloo Public Health, Dr Desjardins helped to found Foodlink Waterloo Region, an NGO that produces a “BuyLocal!BuyFresh!” map.
She left Public Health to pursue her PhD in 2006 at Wilfrid Laurier University, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Waterloo’s Department of Geography & Environmental Management in 2011.
She served as co-Chair of the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable from 2007 to 2012.
In that capacity, she provided input into the Regional Official Plan of the Region of Waterloo to promote healthy food environments for residents and to protect farmland for food production.
Dr Desjardins has also made presentations to the City of Waterloo Council to provide feedback on improving access to healthy and local food within the draft Official Plan.
In recent months, Dr Desjardins was part of a well-orchestrated public participation process to establish a Food Charter for Waterloo Region.
She is also Editor of a new journal, Canadian Food Studies, being launched this year in association with the Canadian Association for Food Studies.
In past years, CAFS has also given out an Lifetime Achievement Award for Food Studies (to Harriet Friedmann of the University of Toronto) and an Award for Excellence in Food Studies (to Jennifer Clapp of the University of Waterloo).
The Canadian Association for Food Studies was founded in 2005 by academics and professionals from governmental and community organizations interested in promoting interdisciplinary scholarship in the broad area of food systems: food policy, production, distribution and consumption.