Maple Leaf Foods announces scholarship recipients

Four masters candidates have been awarded $15,000 each to support their research.

Maple Leaf Foods and the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024/25 Maple Leaf Board Scholarships in Food Insecurity. Four masters candidates have been awarded $15,000 each to support their research on food insecurity in Canada.

The 2024/25 scholarship recipients are:

  • Yanick Brunette, University of Ottawa: Brunette's research will focus on the role of social determinants and food insecurity on pregnant women’s access, utilization and effectiveness of perinatal nutrition care and services

  • Sharra Fullersmith, University of Lethbridge: Fullersmith's research will examine the ties between food insecurity and class status in Lethbridge, Alberta, and how perceptions of individual identities influence the changing demographics of food banks

  • Sharita Henry, University of Victoria: Henry's research will identify determinants of food security within urban black diasporic communities in Canada and propose targeted interventions for community-led solutions

  • Destiny Otoadese, University of Alberta: Otoadese will partner with a local community-based organization to investigate the food security status of the African immigrant population in Edmonton, exploring barriers and facilitators of engagement in collective community gardening

These scholarships honor the contributions of David Emerson, Wallace McCain, Purdy Crawford and W. Geoffrey Beattie as past chairs of the Maple Leaf Foods board of directors. Each year, the center awards four scholarships to masters or doctoral students pursuing research that contributes to the body of knowledge on food insecurity in Canada. Candidates are selected based on academic standing, contribution to filling research gaps and the quality of the submission, including feasibility and methodological rigor.

“The dramatic rise in food insecurity rates in Canada underlines the importance of changing the way we meet the needs of people experiencing food insecurity,” said Sarah Stern, executive director of the center. “These research projects will help to expand our knowledge of the needs and opportunities for specific populations, including Black communities and pregnant people.”

Since the scholarship’s inception in 2020, 17 students have received research scholarships. For more information about the scholarship process, visit the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security.

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