Community Food Leader Certificate Program



The Community Food Leader Certificate Program is for community‐based organizations and businesses who work at a local level to directly impact the lives of individuals experiencing food insecurity. Over eight months, The Our Food Project will support leadership development and collaboration among organization and community leaders who want to implement or expand food initiatives in their communities.

Food initiatives include an array of activities that help to shape local food systems such as community gardens, cooking skills programs, local food markets and more. Graduates become part of a regional network of food leaders, working to build food literacy, leadership skills, and food initiatives that improve food security in their community.


This is a free professional development certificate program hosted by the Our Food Project of the Ecology Action Centre


The Community Food Leader Certificate Program stems from our previous work with organizations like family resource centres, schools, food banks, and community health centres to deliver food skills programming and other food initiatives directly to their communities. We no longer facilitate direct program delivery with community members, but through the CFL program aim to support more organizations like the ones we worked with in the past to start or grow their own food initiatives for their neighbourhood or region.

The Our Food Project of the Ecology Action Centre has been working with partners to build what we call "positive food environments" -  the physical and social spaces that make it easier to grow, sell, and eat good food.

We are eager to share the knowledge, tools and approaches that we've learned over the years through the Community Food Leader Certificate Program - to enable communities to keep the food movement growing in their area. 



Program Elements:

To get the most out of this program, the Community Food Leader Certificate Program is for individuals who can attend monthly trainings and work on their own organizational food projects in between. The amount of time to dedicate between trainings will be informed by specific organizational food goals.


Participants will work on a food initiative throughout the program, supported by the community food coordinator in their region. We’ll connect with participants between trainings to help you reach project milestones.




As a Community Food Leader participant, you’ll be connected to leaders across the region through webinars, newsletters, and other avenues where regional and provincial highlights will be shared. You’ll continue to be connected with and have access to resources beyond the program duration.



There will be a full day training each month in participating regions. Trainings will focus on key concepts that support meaningful and sustainable community food initiatives, while connecting with others in your region. A detailed curriculum will be available at the start of the program.



Program topics include:

  • Facilitation: What approaches can we use when working with groups?
  • Food Systems: How does food connect in our lives & work?
  • Evaluation: How can we can measure success?
  • Fundraising: How do we fund our work?
  • Communication: How can we talk about, and engage people in, our initiatives?
  • Civic Engagement: How can we engage communities and partners for positive change?
  • Food skills training: Informed by regional needs (e.g., gardening, cooking, food preservation) 


Graduates will receive a community food leader certificate

We encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, visible minorities, First Nations, and persons with disabilities. Diversity in our community is a strength that must be cultivated. CFL team members and participants are expected to foster a culture that embraces and promotes diversity.

Information on our 2019 program, as well as application details, will be available in early 2019. 

Questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us:

Cape Breton: Halifax:

Jody Nelson
(902)  489-5634

Sherry Stevenson 
(902) 442-1077




Current Program: May 2018 - December 2018
Cumberland // Cape Breton // Halifax
**Applications Now Closed. Check back in February for our 2019 dates & application information**