Cultivating Change: Combatting Type 2 Diabetes through Healthy Food Skills

Dartmouth Family Centre receives Medavie Health Foundation Grant

The Dartmouth North Community Food Centre is using food skills to create healthy behaviour change, helping reduce the risk of type two diabetes and other chronic conditions while enhancing community well-being. This is an example a different kind of health care, one that takes place in our kitchens, gardens and community centres in helping individuals take control of their health.
— Patty Faith, Executive Director, Medavie Health Foundation
Dartmouth Family Centre board, staff and community members were on hand for the cheque presentation at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.

Dartmouth Family Centre board, staff and community members were on hand for the cheque presentation at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.

The Dartmouth Family Centre is using a $20,000 grant to support food skills programming at its new Dartmouth North Community Food Centre. The program creates the supportive environment necessary to develop positive food behaviours and reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases, while also addressing food insecurity. 

Studies show that an increased knowledge of food skills positively impacts a person’s food choices and eating behaviours, both of which contribute to healthy eating. Cultivating Change: Combating Type 2 Diabetes by Developing Healthy Food Skills helps participants increase their fruit and vegetable intake, cook more for themselves, grow their own food, increase their physical activity levels by working in the kitchen and garden, and to be more socially engaged in the community. 

Dartmouth Family Centre is one of 22 organizations receiving funding through Medavie Health Foundation’s 2016 Grants Program. Since late 2011, the Foundation has committed almost $7.5 million to single and multi-year grant and partnership programs, some of which have yet to be announced. 

"After only a year in operation, we're already seeing the impact of the community food centre model in Dartmouth North, with 73% of survey respondents eating more fruits and vegetables, and 57% already saying their physical health has improved because of their involvement in our programs. Support from foundations like Medavie is critical at this stage in our development and growth and we appreciate it."
– Roxanne Manning, Executive Director, Dartmouth Family Centre

Quick Facts

•    A partnership with Community Food Centres Canada and the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre is an innovative model for enhancing healthy food behaviours and reducing food insecurity through a broad range of program responses including food skills, education and engagement.  
•    Evidence suggests that people who are food insecure consume fewer nutritionally adequate foods and experience higher rates of type 2 diabetes, depression, heart disease, hypertension, fibromyalgia and compromised physical health. They also have greater difficulty managing their disease than those with more resources.

“The Community Food Centre makes me think more about where my food comes from and what I put in my body. It's helped a lot of people in the north end."
– Community Member, Dartmouth North Community Food Centre