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Welcome to the CFM Training Syllabus! 

"Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” -  Ruth Reichl

Are you ready and willing to organize a CFM Training in your community? Or maybe you’re checking out the materials to see if they will meet your goals? This syllabus is designed to equip you with the tools you need to organize a successful CFM Training. It provides an outline of the 8 topics that we recommend including in any CFM Training. Each topic is presented with its associated learning objectives, and examples of suggested activities to achieve those outcomes. The topics can be covered in a number of ways including guest speakers, group activities, participant presentations, and group discussions.

A core belief of the CFM Program is that every community has its own particular context, and this context matters. The CFM Training is meant to be tailored to its participants and to the community in which the training is taking place. As you explore the Syllabus, keep in mind how you might adapt it for the particular place where you will be delivering the training, the particular moment in which you will be delivering it, and leave lots of room to adapt it further once you receive input through the Participant Application and Pre-Training Questionnaire.

The lands on which Food For All NB carries out its work are the unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Walastakwiyik/Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Mi'kmaq/Mikmawand, and the Peskotomuhkatiyik/Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy). We are governed by the Peace and Friendship Treaties, which the above Indigenous Nations co-developed and signed with the British Crown in the 18th century. The treaties do not deal with the surrender of lands, waters or resources, and in fact, recognize Walastakwiyik/Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmaq/Mi’kmaw and Peskotomuhkatiyik/Peskotomuhkati title, and establish rules for an ongoing relationship between Nations.

Food For All NB strives to uphold the treaties' values and commitments and invites you to do the same through your work with the CFM Program. Let us use food as a great unifier; a tool through which we build caring relationships with the land and one another.

  • Opening & Introductions

    With these first few activities, the facilitator starts to create an environment of openness and trust. Participants have the opportunity to introduce themselves, their interests, and their skills.


    • Orient the group
    • Get to know each other 
    • Learn about Food For All NB and the CFM Program



    Note: You can invite Food For All NB to present during your CFM Training. We are happy to explain more about the work we do and the CFM Program! Contact us at mentors@foodforallnb.ca if you have any questions about our work or would like us to present during your CFM Training.

    • Group Introduction & Icebreaker
      • Do a round of sharing names and pronouns (to the discretion of the participant). E.g. “Hi, my name is Alex and my pronouns are she/her” or “My name is Charles and my pronouns are they/them.” 
      • Select a Quick and Easy Introduction, a More In-Depth Introduction, and or an Icebreaker from this list of activities:
      • Develop a group assets map with the Web of Support activity:
  • Topic 1: Key Terms for Food Movements

    What is food security? What about food sovereignty? There are many terms related to food movements - and the definitions can cover quite a range! In this session, participants will be introduced to definitions of key terms and explore the nuance of these terms.


    • Gain an introduction to key terms for food movements 
    • Bust common food insecurity myths 
    • Get comfortable with discussing food-related issues 



    • Discussion on one or more of these common food myths:
      • Myth #1: “We can fix food insecurity by teaching food insecure individuals to cook, garden, and budget” … False! “Food insecure households spend substantially less than food secure households on everything” and “while interventions designed to increase food skills and promote gardening for food are important in reaching other public health goals like increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, the findings here suggest that such interventions are unlikely to impact food insecurity rates in Canada.” 
      • Myth #2: “Food insecurity affects everyone equally” … False! People’s experience with food insecurity varies widely due to systemic discrimination based on race, gender, ability, age, location, etc. 
      • Myth #3: “Food banks are the answer to solving food insecurity” … False! “While using a food bank may provide temporary food relief for those who access these programs, there is no evidence that food banks are a solution to the very serious problem of food insecurity in Canada. Research suggests that increasing the economic resources of low-income households reduces food insecurity, providing a foundation for effective, evidence-based policy responses to this problem. Given the scale of the problem of food insecurity in Canada, governments' continued focus on improving and expanding food banks as a primary response to food insecurity is ill-founded.” In fact, “research has shown that most food insecure households do not use food banks. A comparison on the most recent national statistics indicates a four-fold difference between the number of people living in food-insecure households and the number receiving assistance from food banks.”
      • Myth #4: “To solve food insecurity, we just need more food” … False! We don’t lack food, we lack adequate incomes and services! The best way to get rid of food insecurity is to end poverty by raising wages, providing better social assistance, and removing barriers to education, healthcare, childcare, housing, and employment. 
  • Topic 2: Food Safety

    Participants will learn the food safety practices to apply to their food work and to share with others.


    • Complete either a review of The ABC’s of Food Safety or a Food Safety Certification Training 
    • Gain basic food safety knowledge and kitchen skills 


    • ABC’s of Food Safety: Facilitate a review of The ABC's of Food Safety (PDF). This introductory food safety knowledge is useful for anyone who prepares food for others, whether in a home setting or in community spaces. It is not suitable for those who are required to meet the food safety training and certification requirements for food premises licensing.


    • Food Safety Certification Training: If funding is available and your group is interested, you can offer certification. The New Brunswick Department of Health (online) requires certain staff in licensed food premises to have up-to-date food safety training and certification. While many courses are available, some are not recognized by the Department of Health. The following courses have been deemed equivalent to the National Guidelines for Food Safety Programs in the Food Retail and Food Service Sectors and are accepted in New Brunswick: Recognized Courses (PDF). Most of the courses take place online and take 6 to 8 hours to complete. They range from $25 to $120 per person with the possibility of a group discount for some. This education is useful to learn to reduce the risk of food contamination and, therefore, the spread of foodborne illness for food handlers as well as people who do not work in the food service industry, such as those who prepare meals at home and care for others.
    • Are your participants especially curious about food safety practices in food banks and community kitchens? Or do they want to know how to safely prepare and preserve fiddleheads? Visit Public Health - Food Safety Resources (online) for a plethora of fact sheets, posters and other useful tools.
  • Topic 3: Food Skills

    Participants will learn and practice food skills to gain confidence to prepare food themselves and to teach others.


    • Create and discuss rules and expectations for behaviour in the kitchen to ensure safety
    • Become familiar with the names and functions of different types of kitchen equipment
    • Learn how to read a recipe
    • Learn how to safely use a chef’s knife and a paring knife
    • Learn basic cooking terms


    • Invite a chef / culinary teacher / local food champion to teach cooking skills, hands-on. Ask them to cover the basics listed above in the overview. 
    • Pick a recipe (could come from a participant or your guest teacher) and put those new skills to use!
  • Topic 4: Health

    Great good AND great harm has been committed in the name of “health” and “wellness” which begs the question, what is health? And is it a useful term? Our answer: It’s complicated. On one hand, the concept of health has been and still is often used as a way to police bodies, and enforce oppressive structures. On the other, some people’s health is systemically and systematically attacked, and that is not to be ignored. In this section, we invite curious and respectful conversations about the complexities of health. 

    Note: these conversations can be triggering to some. Please let your participants know what you will be discussing beforehand and invite them to do whatever is best for them at the moment, such as choosing to only listen, taking a break, or asking for a change of topic.


    • Understand the causes and impacts of household food insecurity on our health
    • Learn nutrition information from a reliable source 
    • Understand the impacts of diet culture and how to counter them
    • Practice engaging in nuanced conversations about health 


    • Presentation on the impact of household food insecurity on people’s health
    • Health is relative. What is healthy for one may not be for another, and vice versa. Agency is key. Invite a Registered Dietitian to teach mindful eating and how to reject diet culture using the tools below. Remember to use a conversational tone more than a prescriptive one. 
    • Discuss the nuances of health with your group using one or more of these prompts:
      • “There is no wrong way to have a body. Many people, particularly those that are fat, racialized, trans, queer, gender non-conforming or disabled, experience body policing. This means being told: who or what they are because of their bodies, what they can and cannot do with their bodies (including what and how much to eat) and how to feel about their bodies. These messages can come from many sources – media and popular culture, the health and wellness industry, government systems and policies, community food programming, family members, coworkers, teachers, health professionals, or even strangers in the grocery store. These messages lead to real harm – physical, emotional and psychological.” What can we do to prevent that harm in our food work? Draw ideas from the rest of FoodShare’s Body Liberation and Fat Acceptance Statement (online)
      • Food apartheid discriminates against communities of colour and creates neighbourhoods that lack access to fresh foods, grocery stores, and economic opportunities. Watch Trying to Eat Healthy in a Food Desert (video) What would communities look like if the right to food was fully implemented? (FSC - The Right to Food In Canada online) How would it affect people's health? 
      • Nutritional experimentations on Indigenous children living in residential schools still have ongoing health repercussions to this day. These experimentations shaped the structure of Canada's Official Food Rules, which have now taken the form of Canada's Food Guide. (CBC - The dark history of Canada's Food Guide: How experiments on Indigenous children shaped nutrition policy online & FSC - Food as a Weapon in the Residential School System online) How can we avoid perpetuating harm in our food work?
      • “Food is a key social determinant of health, interconnected with others like housing and employment. Ensuring everyone has access to healthy food is a critical upstream investment needed to address diet-related disease and its continuing pressure on our healthcare system. For many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples “Food is Medicine” is a central teaching.” What do you think that viewing food as medicine can teach us? What impacts can that have on people and food systems? Draw ideas from the rest of Nourish - Food as Medicine (online)
      • Healthism sees health as an individual responsibility and ignores the impact of poverty, oppression, war, violence, luck, historical atrocities, abuse, and environmental factors. It protects the status quo and judges people’s worth based on their health. (What is healthism? online) How have you seen "healthism" show up around you, as it relates to food? What are some of the ways you think this could be challenged?
      • Take a look at this graphic (PDF) from the Government of New Brunswick. What social determinants of health are often overlooked? How?
  • Topic 5: Climate & Food

    Now that we’ve talked about our health, what about our planets’ health? After all, we depend on it! Climate change is a "threat multiplier" which means individuals in New Brunswick already experiencing high rates of household food insecurity will experience more hardship as a direct result of climate change. To address climate change in the timeline required, we need as many actors as possible to address it in as many ways as possible. This session seeks to provide participants with a nuanced introduction to food systems’ impact on climate change and how they can be used as levers for positive change.


    • Gain a general understanding of climate change
    • Become aware of how food systems interact with climate
    • Learn ways to mitigate climate change through food actions
    • Feel equipped to share that knowledge with their community


    • Participants read An Eater’s Guide to Climate Action (online). You may choose to have them read individually for approximately 30 - 45 minutes, take turns in reading the guide together, or find another way to go through the guide that fits your group best. If you are interested in ordering hard copies of the guide you can do so by filling out this order form or contacting mentors@foodforallnb.ca.
    • Use our Facilitator’s Booklet (PDF) to facilitate a conversation around food and climate with participants. Focus on the participants’ interests and invite them to start imagining ways to bring that knowledge to their community and incorporate it into their work.
    • Indigenous resistance is vital to effective climate action and has successfully stopped or delayed many projects that threaten to exacerbate climate change and negatively impact communities, land, drinking water, and food sources. Invite participants to share an Indigenous movement, action, or tradition they know about and ask the group to discuss how it is linked to food and climate justice. Prepare a few examples in advance, to feed the discussion if necessary. E.g. Opposing Enbridge Line 3 (online), a proposed pipeline expansion running through sacred wild rice beds and untouched wetlands. Indigenous burning practices (online) that were criminalized by colonial forces reduce the risk of wildfires, encourage new growth and protect healthy vegetation. Resisting Coastal GasLink, a pipeline endangering water, foods, animals and more for the Wet'suwet'en Nation (online). Fairy Creek Blockade, (online) an Indigenous-led blockade of old-growth logging.

    Choose one or more: 

    Remember: it’s usually more fun to put theory into practice!

  • Topic 6: Communication & Facilitation

    This session teaches participants the communication and facilitation skills that will be beneficial for their community involvement. 


    • Learn communication skills
    • Learn the principles of adult learning
    • Learn facilitation skills
    • Practice putting those skills to use


    • Invite an expert in adult learning and/or facilitation to cover the objectives listed above in the overview and share their knowledge with the group. Offer them the resources below to support them in their preparations. End the session with mini practice presentations.
      • Indeed - Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples (online)
      • Let go of neurotypical standards of communication. While the above recommendations can be useful pointers, understanding that not everyone is able to meet those standards is part of effective and respectful communication and relationship building.
      • Cultivate linguistic security (as opposed to linguistic insecurity) by listening, encouraging people to speak regardless of their accent or dialect, and asking curious clarifying questions when needed instead of “correcting”.
      • Literacy levels have a deep impact on people’s ability to understand and communicate information. If you find that literacy is an issue for your participants, you can share this resource with them, as a future capacity building opportunity: Laubach Literacy NB (online)
      • Community Tool Box - Techniques for Leading Group Discussions (online)
      • Valamis - Adult Learning Principles (online) 
      • Community Tool Box - Developing Facilitation Skills (online)
      • Fabriders - Tips for designing an effective workshop session (online)
      • For mini practice presentations, divide the group into teams of three. Each team chooses an object to talk about. Give the group some time to prepare a one-minute talk about the object, then ask the teams to deliver the presentation to the rest of the participants. Presentation organization instructions for your participants:
        • Effective presentations are organized into three parts
          1. Introduction: Captures attention and provides an outline of the presentation. By asking questions, you can learn what the audience already knows about the topic.
          2. Body: Present two or three key points about the topic. Use creative ways to illustrate your points.
          3. Conclusion: Summarize the main points. Provide an interesting wrap-up.
        • Delivering your presentation
          1. Choose one person to deliver the introduction, one person to deliver the body, and one person to deliver the conclusion.
          2. Stick to the one-minute time limit.
          3. Try to refrain from using your notes and speak clearly.
  • Topic 7: Starting a Community Food Action

    Participants reflect on their experience together and discuss civic engagement. They begin planning individual or group actions that foster deeper community bonds and connect people to food. 


    • Learn about current food programs and initiatives 
    • Practice effective brainstorming and generative conversations 
    • Start to develop a food action plan 


    • To get inspired and learn about current initiatives, resources and potential partners in the province, invite a guest speaker that has led successful community food actions to share their initiatives and experience with the group OR tour a local food program.
    • Set up an exercise to generate community food action ideas and to establish potential partnerships between participants.

    Ask questions such as:

    • What is one area you’d like to focus on in your community food action?
    • What’s a food-related issue you’d like to work on solving?
    • What is most needed in your community?
    • What types of projects could you and your peers work on together in the future? Reflecting on everything you’ve learned during your CFM Training so far, what do you feel most moved to share with your community?
    • What makes you feel most excited about food?
    • How might we reduce and eventually eliminate food insecurity in this community? What would a successful food action feel like to you? 

    If one or several participants are set on a specific project while others are still brainstorming, let them move on to the planning stages.

    Ask questions such as: What is your project’s main goal? What partners or resources could help you accomplish this work? How will you evaluate the success of your project?

    If participants feel up to it, come up with a Wellness Commitment as a group (e.g. we will each cook a nourishing meal with a friend) and register it at www.wellnessnb.ca to join the Wellness Movement.

  • Topic 8: Fundraising


    • Learn about sources of funding 
    • Learn how to draft a funding application


  • Closing & Celebration

    On the final day of the training, a celebration is encouraged! From potluck, food swap, to preparing one last meal together, the possibilities are endless! 

    You are invited to share about your CFM experience with others by posting photos and videos on social media with the hashtags* #CFMProgram #CommunityFoodMentors and #CertifiedCFM as well as emailing them to mentors@foodforallnb.ca.

    *Capitalizing hashtags is an easy way to ensure that screen reader programs with synthesized speech can accurately convey the message. Blind, visually impaired people, and some otherwise disabled people also benefit from hashtag capitalization.

    Congratulations, you have completed the Coordination/Facilitation of the CFM Training! Food For All NB is so grateful for your passion, time, and energy. We look forward to receiving your feedback and getting in contact with all the new Coordinators, Facilitators, and Community Food Mentors. Now, time to celebrate!