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Hamilton, Ont. – August 19, 2019 – UFCW Canada activists recently joined students and food experts from across the country at the 2019 National Student Food Summit in Hamilton, where participants explored strategies for creating a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system that works for everyone.
Held at McMaster University from August 15 to 18, and hosted by Meal Exchange, the summit provided attendees with an opportunity to build their skills, share bold new ideas, and connect with other activists on pressing food issues, including the rights of food workers.
At the three-day event, participants heard from Nathalie Vengal, UFCW Canada National Representative; Paul Taylor, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto; Jared Ong of Fight for $15 & Fairness; Cheyenne Sundance of Sundance Harvest; digital and political activist Jennifer Hollett; and Juneeja Varghese of United Way Greater Toronto, among many other speakers.
Summit attendees also took in a wide range of panel discussions, workshops, and training sessions that covered everything from Canada’s National Food Policy, to the impact of climate change on our food system, to ensuring that food workers have rights, dignity, and respect on the job.
“As the voice of food workers in Canada, it is important for UFCW to participate in conversations surrounding food justice, sustainability, and workers’ rights,” Vengal told the summit. "Events like the Student Food Summit provide our union with an opportunity to share food workers’ stories, learn from other activists working in the food industry, and raise awareness of the essential role that UFCW members play in Canada’s food sector,” she added.
UFCW is the union for food workers, representing hundreds of thousands of members in the food retail, manufacturing, and processing industries, as well as the agricultural sector. UFCW Canada members feed the nation and work in every aspect of the food industry, from farmers’ fields to processing plants to grocery stores across the country. To learn more about UFCW’s presence in the Canadian food industry, see our latest Annual Report (PDF).