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

Photo - Dr. Peter Andrée, Dr. Manfred Egb, Dr. Patty Williams and Dr. Ksenia Kholina

FoodARC’s Summer 2018 staff with Dr. Peter Andrée (Carleton University)


Dr. Manfred EgbeDr. Manfred Egbe

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Manfred Egbe has a PhD (2016) in Medical Anthropology & International Health from Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain. His earlier educational pursuits earned him Masters degrees in Public Health and Anthropology (in Lithuania and Spain respectively), after earning an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology in Cameroon. Dr. Egbe’s current research builds on his doctoral research that examined the effects of the 2008 economic crisis in Europe – particularly in Spain – on the food security of Sub-Sahara African (SSA) immigrants. As a postdoctoral fellow at MSVU, he is engaged in participatory action research relating to cultural food security for newcomers to Nova Scotia in affiliation with FoodARC. His background includes project design, field-based data collection, statistical analysis, evaluation of international development projects, workshop and conference organization. He has worked in various settings ranging from project coordination to research on the pharmacopeia of the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon. Dr. Egbe’s research interests range widely, encompassing hunger, poverty, food security, food sovereignty and precarity, health beliefs and behaviour, health care system analysis, needs assessments, social policy and wellbeing, social exclusion/integration, and global health.


Dr. Ksenia Kholina

Ksenia Kholina

Summer 2018 Dietetic intern

Ksenia Kholina started her academic path by pursuing a Medical Degree (2016) at Pavlov First State Medical University in her hometown, Saint Petersburg, Russia. While studying, she worked in the clinical research setting (Research Institute of Surgery and Emergency Medicine, Cardiovascular Unit) for over two years. This clinical experience built on her knowledge and formed Ksenia’s strong interest in disease prevention and public health that led her to the field of nutrition and dietetics. Currently, Ksenia is finishing her Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University and starting the Master of Science program in the same field. Ksenia Kholina’s research interests include the role of various factors in chronic disease prevention, such as early childhood nutrition, social determinants of health, food security, policy and public health, as well as knowledge translation and health promotion. Ksenia Kholina’s expertise and research potential were recognized by Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation with a prestigious Scotia Scholars Award (2018). Ksenia’s current work at FoodARC includes an evaluative study of The Hand You’re Dealt, as well as research related to marketing to children.




Name Position & Research Project
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.

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FoodARC is a proud part of the Mount community.

Associated with the Department of Applied Human Nutrition, FoodARC continues the strong Mount tradition of research and community-engaged scholarship in supporting social responsibility, the advancement of women, and preparing students for global citizenship.

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