Canadian parliamentarians, celebrity chef speak on importance of nutrition and gender equality

Parliamentarians and Chef Prescott at the Foodies That Give a Fork event

Parliamentarians and Chef Prescott at the Foodies That Give a Fork event

Ottawa, CANADA – Celebrity chef Dennis Prescott joined Canadian Members of Parliaments (MPs) of all political stripes for an informative and interactive lunch event on Parliament Hill called Foodies That Give a Fork to raise awareness and celebrate Canada’s leadership in nutrition investment and its connection to gender equality.

MPs Pam Damoff, Cheryl Hardcastle and Stephanie Kusie co-sponsored the event ― titled Foodies That Give a Fork ― which was held jointly with Nutrition International, RESULTS Canada and World Vision Canada. The three MPs as well as Chef Prescott have all been part of delegations that traveled to various countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia and India, to see firsthand the impact of Canada’s investment in nutrition.

Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Kamal Khera spoke to the packed room about “the importance of providing quality nutrition to vulnerable populations around the world, especially young women and girls.”

As guests were treated to food from around the world, Chef Prescott shared from his experience visiting projects and talked about the importance of food security and nutrition, highlighting the fact that, unfortunately, “the reality is not everybody has access to that. I’m really honoured to be here, to be working with [organizations and politicians] who are doing amazing things to try to help make the world a better place today than it was yesterday, and tomorrow than it was today,” he added.

Titus Mung’ou, Nutrition International’s Advocacy and Communications Manager for Africa, shared his experience and point of view from Kenya where he has seen a difference in nutrition.

“Through [nutrition] programs, we are empowering women and children to succeed in school, at work and in their communities. There has been a reduction of neonatal deaths from 70 cases in 2016 to 20 in 2017 in Vihiga County alone. Father –to-father support groups are strengthening male involvement in maternal health and nutrition. Women who once ate last, or not at all, are now being involved in family decision making about nutritious foods,” said Mung’ou.

Canada has been a leader in nutrition for decades. Its investments have helped save millions of lives and continue to open up opportunities for women and children to reach their full potential. Yet, more than one billion women and girls still do not have access to the adequate nutrition they need to survive and thrive.

Find out more about the recent MP delegation visit to NI’s programs in Kenya.