FoodARC works with a broad-based network of more than 200 local, regional, national, and international partners from community, university, and government sectors to strengthen relationships, share resources and knowledge, and build capacity around food security. We do our research in collaboration with students, faculty, community members, practitioners, and decision/policy-makers. Many of our partners and collaborators have worked with us for many years and are deeply invested in transforming the state of food security, food sovereignty and food justice in Nova Scotia and beyond. FoodARC acts as a hub linking communities, researchers, and government. We cultivate individual transformation and compassion for collective action nourished by rich relationships and research.



Photo - Dr. Patricia Williams
Dr. Patricia Williams

Director, FoodARC; Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University; Senior Research Associate, Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University

Patty Williams is a Professor in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University and a founding director of FoodARC – the Food Action Research Centre. With FoodARC’s organizational partners, she was awarded the prestigious Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Partnership Award in 2011. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia, and completed a CIHR funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Promotion at Dalhousie University. Dr. Williams was a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Policy Change in 2007-2017.

Her research focuses on the use of participatory action research to engage intersectoral partners, including women experiencing food insecurity, in capacity building and knowledge-to-action for social and policy change to build food security.

She has led several national studies on food security related policy change, 7 cycles of the Nova Scotia Participatory Food Costing project, and from 2010 and 2016 was the Principal Investigator of a 5–year, 1 million dollar Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded Community University Research Alliance on Community Food Security, which resulted in the most comprehensive research to date on community food security in Nova Scotia.

Dr. Williams is also actively engaged in knowledge sharing activities such as and engagement with policy maker, classroom, and community audiences. She is a founding member of the Nova Scotia Food Security Network and the Nova Scotia Food Policy Council, and a Senior Research Scholar at the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University. She teaches in the Applied Human Nutrition Graduate Program at MSVU.



Current staff

Chloe Pineau

Senior Research Assistant

Chloe Pineau is an undergraduate student in the BSc Applied Human Nutrition program at Mount Saint Vincent University. Before she began her studies at the Mount, Chloe completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology at Saint Mary’s University, which led to her interest in the intersection of the social sciences and the field of dietetics. She joined the FoodARC team in 2018, and had the opportunity to complete a CN Student Research Internship under the supervision of Dr. Patty Williams over the 2019-2020 academic year. Chloe currently works as a Senior Research Assistant on the SSHRC-funded project, Dismantling Stigma: exploring experiences of and views on food insecurity, social exclusion, and shame among women through participatory action research.”


Sarah Chandler

Research Assistant

Sarah Chandler is completing a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with Honours degree at Acadia University with her honours research investigating the chemical composition and textural properties of meat analogues. Sarah also has an interest in food security, which led to her completing her third Co-op work-term in the Fall 2020 with FoodARC as a Research and Communications Assistant. During the work-term, Sarah updated the FoodARC website; contributed to and piloted a study guide for post-secondary students in partnership with Truefaux Films for their documentary Six Primrose; and she worked on the SSSHRC-funded project, “Dismantling Stigma: exploring experiences of and views on food insecurity, social exclusion, and shame among women through participatory action research”. Upon completing her Co-op work-term, Sarah has remained on the FoodARC team as a Research Assistant.



Name Position & Research Project
Dr. Erin Murphy
Research Project Manager
Dr Manfred Egbe
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cultural Food Security: Building Connections and Capabilities for New Immigrants in Nova Scotia
Catherine Hart Research Associate
Madeleine Waddington Project Coordinator
Kathleen Chan Research Assistant
Meredith Bessey Administrative Assistant and Research Intern
Aliya Jamal Project Coordinator
Meggie MacMichael Project Coordinator
Chris Stothart Project Coordinator, Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia
Nadia Pabani Graduate Research Assistant, Voices for Food Security in Nova Scotia
Satya Ramen Project Coordinator for Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS)
Meredith Flannery Project Coordinator
Felicia Newell Graduate Research Associate and Communications Coordinator
Cynthia Watt Coordinator, Nova Scotia Participatory Food Costing Project
Jeff Harper MSVU Multimedia Developer and Trainer


You can find information about FoodARC students and interns here.