Mr. Speaker, as a vegetable grower and producer, I am passionate about access to local fruits and vegetables. I was honoured to host Chef Michael Smith last week for an event highlighting local produce through the half your plate initiative.
At this event, I was named produce champion by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, but there are many other local food champions in my riding. The Natoaganeg Community Food Centre is located in Eel Ground First Nation and is a space where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate good local food. It does so while providing access to healthy, high quality and traditional meals through its weekly drop-in meals and its good food bank market.
The cafeteria at École Carrefour Beausoleil, which is in my riding, has purchased more than 30,000 pounds of local products.
According to the head cook, Mr. Mills, 99% of the ingredients used to make their lasagna come from New Brunswick, and it is the students' favourite meal.
I encourage all members of the House to find and champion their buy-local program.