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City of Thunder Bay wins award for local food promotion
City of Thunder Bay wins award for local food promotion

City of Thunder Bay wins award for local food promotion

Dan Munshaw accepted the Local Food Champion Award

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

A northern Ontario community received an award for its continued promotion of local food and farmers.

Dan Munshaw, supply management manager with the City of Thunder Bay, received the Local Food Champion Award on behalf of the community during a ceremony on Nov. 8.

Munshaw is “developing innovative solutions that will help increase the availability of local food within the communities (he) serves,” Jeff Leal, Ontario minister of agriculture, said in a Nov. 8 statement.

But the award reflects a team effort to promote agriculture in northern Ontario, Munshaw says.

“I’m thrilled to accept the award,” he told today. “A group of us have been very active for four or five years trying to raise the bar with awareness of local and regional food,” he told today.

Thunder Bay purchased nearly $400,000 worth of local food from nearby farmers last year with Munshaw’s assistance.

That investment has created a domino effect in the community, including economic development within Thunder Bay, he said.

“Our focus is to try to build meaningful, working relationships with the local farmers and members of our food community,” he said.

And Thunder Bay’s distance from the agricultural hub of southern Ontario provides as many opportunities for farmers as it does challenges, said Munshaw.

“We don’t have the same growing season or the same soils, but farmers here can grow root crops, raise cattle and other proteins,” he said. “We’re looking now to migrate into Indigenous foods and believe that there’s more we can do. I’m learning how we can enhance our engagement with Indigenous farmers.”