Planting Seeds Today for a Healthier Tomorrow

Jun. 1/18

Planting Seeds Today for a Healthier Tomorrow: Event Evaluation

Snuneymuxw First Nation’s Health Centre held a community gathering on Tuesday, May 29th 2018. The purpose of the event was to promote the community garden as well as to highlight the important role of eating healthy food to achieve optimal mental health.

Overall, the feedback for the event has been very positive. The event opened and closed with a prayer from Snuneymuxw Elder Lolly Good. The guest speaker, Jen Cody from Nanaimo FoodShare, presented on the connection between food and mood which led to various discussions throughout mealtime. An important aspect of the event was sharing a healthy and enjoyable meal together; the menu included traditional and garden-ready foods such as salmon, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fruit. Activities included touring the gardens, learning about planting, adding to the “Hand Tree” Garden Mural, informational booths focused on health & well-being, as well as participating in prize draws. Prizes included gift baskets of gardening supplies, hanging flower baskets, and salad bowls full of garden vegetables. Community members also had the option to take home some individual plants to start their own garden.

Leading up to the event, there were a few challenges regarding the planning and organization. For example: the initial event date was set for May 14th, but due to the funeral of a community member it needed to be rescheduled. Sadly, another respected elder passed the night before May 29th, which led to some uncertainty in how to proceed. These events and fluctuations significantly impacted the attendance for the event. However, the event was a success and met the desired outcomes. The community has more knowledge of the community gardens, and the gathering has sparked further conversation and planning in regards to achieving food sovereignty and healthier nutrition, and there is more awareness in the community of the connection between the food we eat and our mental health and mood.

In conclusion, I’d like to share the following feedback offered by Jen Cody of Nanaimo FoodShare to the Mental Health Team at Snuneymuxw Health Centre:

“It hit all of the highlights for me, and really role-modelled a holistic approach to mental health… Congratulations!    I will be thinking of this event as best practice when I plan activities in the future.”