Member Biography: Jesse Veenstra

What organizations are you affiliated with? I am a Senior Project Manager with Vancouver Coastal Health supporting diverse projects in Vancouver Community. I am an active participant my local neighbourhood food initiatives where possible, including The Food Connection (Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House) and coFood Vancouver.
What motivated you to join the VFPC? I have a combined passion for health promotion and systems improvement. From a young age I could often be found in either the kitchen or the garden, and I strongly identify with the role that food plays within community. Participation in the VFPC provides me with an opportunity to bring knowledge and experience across the healthcare continuum while contributing to, and learning more about, social policy.
What are your areas of expertise in the food system? (and/or) What are your skills? I hold a BSc in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Science, as well as MSc in Health and Nutrition. I have experience in the development and operation of a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, and enjoy developing and teaching food skills workshops. I am also currently completing a Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson University.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself; (and/or) What is one of your proudest food system-related accomplishments? One interesting fact about me is that I have a strange knack for finding four-leafed clovers…without looking for them. I find several each year and preserve them in my cookbooks, so they often fall out of the pages when I pull them off my bookshelf. This quirk serves as the namesake for where I chronicle personal food stories, when time permits.
Which VFPC working group(s) are you currently active on and/or do you co-chair? While I have interest in most of the working groups I plan to officially become part of the Right-to-food working group, and possibly either the Development or School Food group.

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