Current Board of Directors

The Board has full financial, legal and political responsibility for Food Secure Canada and is accountable to its membership. They are generally elected for three-year terms. Find out more on the governance here. 

CURRENT Board Members (in alphabetical order)

Province

Kristina Craig - Secretary YT
Yasmine Hassen ON
Jingyi (Celia) Luo AB
Larry McDermott ON
Rob Moquin MB
Nancy Neamtan QC
Naomi Robert BC
Melana Roberts - Chair ON
Ilham Saydna ON
Vanessa Girard Tremblay QC
Nathalie Vengal ON
Wendie L. Wilson NS

 


Kristina Craig

As Coordinator of Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition (YAPC) , Kristina works to fulfil the organization's mandate of facilitating the elimination of poverty in Yukon through education, advocacy and action. Areas of interest and knowledge include income assistance, housing and food security. 

Kristina’s broad social justice, community animation and northern experiences are assets to the board. Her understanding of strategic planning and her strong environmental commitments and expertise are vital as the FSC Board moves forward in supporting and developing food related policies around these challenges. All these along with Kristina’s non profit and fund raising experiences are so useful as the FSC board builds momentum across the nation and with its counterpart regional networks toward a National Food Policy in Canada.

 

 

Yasmine Hassen

Yasmine (she/they) is a settler with Afro-Caribbean ancestry on her mother’s side and Ethiopian ancestry on her father’s side, who lives as an uninvited guest on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and The Wendat Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Yasmine stands in solitary with Wet’suwet’en land defenders and water protectors. Yasmine is a community organizer, rooted in decolonial approaches in bridging the gaps and finding the intersections between diaspora(s), personhood, anti-racism, feminism, Indigenous sovereignty, and climate justice. At the root of their justice work is Indigenous and Black food sovereignty and political education. They enjoy gardening and it is something that they hold close to their heart, due to their ancestral roots within it. They believe food growth is something that many Black and Indigenous folx embody through their ancestral knowledge. With this personal education on growing food and the community care that comes with it, they hope to be able to continue to learn from and pass on this knowledge so that BIPoC folx can continue to reclaim our food sources and therefore start to regain our sovereignty. Beyond that, she tried to hold a practice of reflection, ecologies of care, and a love-ethic.

 

 

Jingyi (Celia) Luo 

Working on reserve with the Stoney Nakoda people as a community dietitian in Treaty 7 AB, Celia is a relatively new settler learning to be a better guest on this land. Celia's involvement with food started with student hunger awareness on campus in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mi'kmaki. Along the way, she worked with students, newcomers, and refugees in community gardens, urban agriculture projects, and community kitchens, and advocated for cultural food security through local food policy and food literacy programming.

At her current professional level, she walks alongside the community on a food security journey by improving healthy food access, building local food infrastructure, and supporting healthy food skills education. She hopes to follow the pillars of indigenous food sovereignty and to build a healthy, just, and sustainable local food system in a rural Alberta community. She is committed to supporting food justice principles and is interested in using her knowledge in food science and health to create spaces and activities which promote a local food landscape that reduces both physical food miles and social distance.

 

Larry McDermott

A member of Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, Larry McDermott served as an Ontario municipal politician for 28 years including as the first national rural chair of FCM.

He is currently Executive Director of Plenty Canada, a non-profit organization devoted to environmental protection and healthy communities, and Co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Network Biodiversity Caucus. He also serves as a commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 

 

 

Rob Moquin

Rob is a settler Canadian with Franco-Manitoban and Acadian roots. He was born and raised and currently lives in Winnipeg, in Treaty 1 Territory. Rob has a unique skillset and well-rounded background in the food movement, including experience working in locally-sourced cuisine, community food security programs, non-profit management, food systems research and public policy analysis. In his current role as Policy Director and Acting Executive Director of Food Matters Manitoba, Rob works with local governments, organizations, civil society, and community members to develop and sustain initiatives that enhance food security throughout Manitoba.  

Rob brings a strong policy lens to Food Secure Canada. For the past decade he has been working on projects that engage multi-sector stakeholders in food systems assessment, planning, and program development, using best available evidence and participatory design. Rob has co-authored community-based municipal and provincial food security strategies, facilitated food asset mapping projects in urban and rural communities, and has been a key informant in the development of food councils in Winnipeg and Brandon. Rob values equity and inclusion, and advocates for decolonizing, anti-oppressive, and body-positive approaches to food security work.

 

Nancy Neamtan

Nancy Neamtan is a Strategic Advisor at TIESS (Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire), a social innovation liaison and transfer centre for the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust. She was one of the founders of the Chantier de l'économie sociale and its Executive Director from 1996 to 2015. As Executive Director of the Chantier, a non-profit organization representing networks of social enterprises (cooperatives and non-profits), local development organizations and social movements, whose mission is the promotion and development of collective entrepreneurship, she helped create new financial tools for collective enterprises (RISQ and the Chantier Trust), co-chaired the Social Economy Community–University Research Partnership from 2001 to 2011, and participated in creating and leading international social and solidarity economy networks.

Nancy Neamtan is recognized internationally as an expert on the social and solidarity economy, working in collaboration with international organizations such as the International Labour Organization and the OCDE's Forum on social innovation. She is a member of the Board of Directions of RIPESS, the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy. Nancy led the Corporation for Economic and Social Renewal of South-West Montréal (1989-1996) after holding a variety of roles in local development and community organizations. She holds two honorary doctorates and is an Officer of the National Order of Québec.

Nancy's rich experiences with the entrepreneurship world and social innovation are assets to the board and FSC, along with her long experience with non-profit organizations and social enterprises.   

 

Naomi Robert

Naomi has a deep appreciation for how food can forge connections between individuals, communities, and land. Her work has allowed her to engage with the food system in several meaningful ways, including organizing food access projects with vulnerable communities in the non-profit sector in Québec, volunteering on organic farms, and coordinating food system research and extension projects as a bridge between academic and community initiatives. She is a settler on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish people (known as Vancouver, BC) and is grateful to live and work on these lands.

In her current professional capacity in BC, she is dedicated to the development of research and extension resources to connect academic and community food systems work, with a focus on local government food and agricultural land policy. Naomi is particularly interested in the overlapping jurisdictions of food policy between local, provincial and federal levels, and working across these to drive more just and resilient food systems in Canada. Naomi is a Professional Agrologist with the BC Institute of Agrologists, practicing in research, transfer and application, and a working group member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

Naomi is looking forward to applying her non-profit, academic and extension food system experiences to the research and advocacy roles at FSC. Naomi brings an understanding of the Canadian food policy landscape, an interest in its divisions across jurisdictions, familiarity with local government planning processes, and experience developing communication tools for disseminating food systems knowledge across diverse audiences. 

 

Melana Roberts

Melana Roberts is a federal and municipal food policy strategist and food justice advocate based in Toronto. Committed to building a more equitable food system, Melana brings an anti-racist, intersectional approach to her work and focuses on community driven solutions that democratize food systems governance, prioritizes access and equity, and drives inclusive economic development. Currently undertaking the creation of North America's first municipal Black Food Sovereignty Plan at the City of Toronto, she brings experience in local procurement, student nutrition, urban agriculture and emergency food planning. Melana has worked collaboratively with diverse food actors, volunteering on Boards, Councils, and in international fora. Recently elected as Canada's United Nations Civil Society Delegate for the CPD53, she provided expert advice on global emergency food responses during COVID-19. She has been a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council, former Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, and serves as Chair of Food Secure Canada. Melana is a founding member of the Black Food Sovereignty Alliance, has participated on the Farmers For Climate Solutions' Task Force, and sits on the Leaders Table of the national Food Communities Network – Canada's first municipal food network. Passionate about building resilient regional food economies, she's a Director at Carrot Cache, a philanthropic foundation supporting food systems in Ontario, and has acted as a Grants Advisor to the Ivey Foundation. In 2020, Melana became an Action Canada Fellow, leading policy research to advance sustainability, equity and diversity in Canada's agricultural workforce, and was named a CBC Next 10 Leader, shaping the future of food in Canada.

 

Ilham Saydna 

Born and raised in post-colonial Sudan in Africa, Ilham experienced food insecurity and hunger first hand. Before immigrating to Canada in 1997, Ilham worked in Sudan and Yemen forming collectives to help women farmers to fight drought, land grab and social injustices. In Canada, Ilham works for Daily Bread Food Bank as Community Engagement Coordinator to increase community food access and facilitate knowledge generation and sharing. She created support groups for Sudanese refugees arriving in Canada. 

Ilham holds a masters degree in Gender and Food Security from York University, Women in Development Diploma and Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences. She is trained in Popular Education approaches and techniques.

 

Vanessa Girard Tremblay 

Vanessa is currently co-director at Carrefour solidaire centre communautaire d'alimentation in Montreal where, alongside her passionate team, she works to increase accessibility to fresh, healthy and local food for all through several innovative programs. She has a degree in international relations and international law, as well as  a certificate in feminist studies, but currently, all of her energy is focused on the right to food. From facilitation of cooking workshops, the establishment of a food bank based on choice and the dignity of its members, to the development of a pay-what-you-can fruit and vegetable market, Vanessa’s experience on the ground has allowed her to understand the power of food and the links it can create. Today, she is particularly interested in building inclusive and horizontal work spaces where everyone can thrive while also respecting their limits.

 

Nathalie Vengal

Nathalie is a food security and labour rights activist who works as a National Representative and the Chair of the Young Workers Committee at the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada). In 2016, Nathalie founded the first youth-led food bank in the city of Toronto, which still operates today and is dedicated to serving the Latin community and hundreds of individuals, youth and families from equity-deserving groups. In her spare time, she works diligently with non-profit organizations and the municipal government in Toronto to address food insecurity and food policy. 

 

 

 

Wendie Wilson

Wendie L. Wilson is a mother, educator, artist and writer. Born and raised in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Wendie is a descendant of African Nova Scotians who have had history in the province for 400+ years. She has a keen interest in documenting the food history of this distinct cultural group and collecting the narratives connected to Canada’s oldest Black cuisine. Wendie is dedicated to elevating the profile of the community and sharing their  culture with others. Utilizing her Masters in Africentric Leadership has allowed her to view situations through an African-centered lens.

Wendie grew up in one of the largest public housing projects in Nova Scotia and experienced firsthand the effects of food insecurity and how food is directly connected to an innate sense of well-being on multiple levels. Throughout her 20 years as an educator in the public school system, Wendie has witnessed the impact food has on learning. Eliminating both visible and invisible barriers to healthy, fresh and local food through access to community gardens has been her most recent passion.

As a co-founder of the African Nova Scotian Freedom School, she is dedicated to contextualizing the history and culture of African Nova Scotians and making it accessible to those that it impacts, believing that education is the great equalizer. As a member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food Advisory in NS, she is invested in seeing a Canada-wide school food program implemented as a part of the educational path to equality.