GUELPH, Ont. — Anita Stewart was named the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) Dinner Bell award last month at the third annual CCFI Public Trust Summit held in Gatineau, Que.
Stewart is a well-known Canadian food crusader and founder of Food Day Canada, a free and inclusive annual event that brings together farmers, chefs and consumers each August. The event is a unique way for everyone involved along the food chain to engage directly in conversations about food in person or online.
“In days gone by, the dinner bell was used to call people to tables of all varieties — from the fanciest castles to the most rugged ranches,” says Crystal Mackay, CCFI president. “This new award takes the symbolism of the dinner bell from the past and brings it forward to recognize the leadership needed for the conversations about food for the future.”
“Over the years, my culinary journey has taken me across this incredible nation of ours many, many times. I’ve met the producers and the researchers, the chefs and the home cooks, who’ve celebrated with me, be it from the early days until now, when our entire country celebrates Food Day Canada. Those are the shoulders that we all stand on,” says Stewart. “Being the first-ever recipient of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity Dinner Bell award is a recognition of their work as much as it is my own tenacity — some say stubbornness — to tell their stories.”
Stewart’s work in the food sector has garnered her several accolades, including Food Laureate at the University of Guelph and member of the Order of Canada.
The CCFI created the Dinner Bell award to recognize an individual or effort breaking new ground in public trust in food with collaboration and leadership with meaningful impact.