Kate Greavette knows what powers a community.
As the executive director of the York Region Food Network, she is committed to ensuring everyone has access to “fuel” by advocating for the individual's “Right to Food.”
This work was saluted this past year by the Town of Aurora, which recognized Greavette with the Community Leadership Award, an honour that is part of the Town’s Community Recognition Awards program.
The Community Leadership Award is presented to an individual or organization that has “significantly enhanced the Town through their contribution, commitment, and leadership in the areas of charitable giving, civic engagement, community events or community spirit.”
“Kate exemplifies what it truly means to be a leader,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas, who presented the award to Greavette virtually due to the ongoing pandemic. “Through passion and commitment to those in the community, she continues to make a significant contribution to Aurora.”
It’s a community she knows well, having grown up in Aurora before returning to take the helm of the York Region Food Network in January 2020.
She was recognized for her “role to deliver healthy, accessible and sustainable food systems to Aurora residents who need it most” through the creation of community gardens, Good Food boxes, which provides freshly grown and sourced food to subscribers, Community Cooks programs, and even a new learning hub to educate the community on the benefits of composting.
“The pandemic has brought on a unique set of challenges, but Kate continually rises to the occasion and can be counted on to deliver excellent care,” Mayor Mrakas continued. “Kate is a generous and caring individual who is passionate about the well-being of community members. She is a well-respected leader who inspires those around her and will never hesitate to jump in and lend a hand.”
An extension of her work with the York Region Food Network, she was also recognized for her – and their – support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of York, including providing “creative input” on their mentorship programs and helping to foster interactive programs like cooking nights.
“I grew up in Aurora and have been working actively in the community since 2012,” she said. “With my commitment to social justice and the Right to Food, I have had the opportunity to lead an incredibly talented group of people through this year of uncertainty. Over this time, we have been committed to supporting the immediate needs of our community while also keeping our eyes on the long-term changes that are needed to foster a more equitable Aurora and a more equitable York Region.
“Challenging the status quo and pushing for long-term change that gives every community member access to a healthy life is why I am committed to this work. I have a lot of hope that we can move the dial on food insecurity as we look ahead to a future of collaborative partnerships and research. I feel very privileged to be one of a small handful of people working in the community food sector and, to me, this award represents all the tremendous partnerships and collaborations I have had the opportunity to be a part of over the years.”