Samantha Burns is currently working on her Master of Arts in Environmental Policy at Memorial University. Her Master’s research focuses on sustainable diets, and how to best promote them through policy. Her interest in the environment started when she went vegan a few years ago after learning about the impact that animal agriculture has on the environment. Shortly after, she got more interested in reducing her impact and she tries to minimize her use of single-use products and plastics to contribute to a more sustainable economy. Samantha recently returned from a year working at a university in Zhuhai, China, after completing her undergraduate degrees in International Development Studies and Global Business Management at Saint Mary’s University. Although she has spent more time away than at home lately, she still considers Halifax her home having grown up there. Samantha loves to get involved with her local community, and has spent many hours volunteering with various projects from refugee resettlement, English tutoring, campus clubs and events and festivals in the city. Samantha’s big goal is to work in international development on sustainability projects.
About Veg Out
Veg Out will be an open and accessible space for community members to come and learn about sustainable food, local agriculture and cooking. My vision includes a community kitchen and social area with space to grow simple plants such as herbs and basic vegetables. The space will have three main goals: 1) Work on community capacity building in terms of teaching community members how to cook healthy and sustainably sourced local meals and grow their own food, 2) Provide volunteer and employment opportunities for local youth to lead cooking classes and tend to the community indoor garden, 3) Educate community members on sustainable diets and agriculture by screening food and climate documentaries. My idea is to have one or two students employed part time running the space, with the help of community grants to support their employment. In order to make money, Veg Out Community Space will hold regular cooking classes, where anyone can come join for an affordable price ($10-15), with bursaries available for those who want to improve their cooking skills but can’t afford to pay. Other opportunities for income include selling baked goods and other dishes at local community markets. Attendees may include those that typically frequent food banks, yet are unaware of how to make dishes out of frequently donated staple foods, such as beans, legumes and pastas. All meals will be vegan in order to promote accessibility and sustainability in diets as well as affordability.