Karen was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, moved all over Canada before settling in Ottawa in her 20’s. She considers herself a “city girl” where she is most happy and comfortable. Karen landed on the doorstep of the Parkdale Food Centre in October 2012 without any real understanding of the work ahead of her. She believes that economic inequality is the defining issue of our time and that food is often a forgotten human right; to not ensure that every citizen of Canada has the financial means to purchase nutritious food is immoral. She will tell you the fact that an unconscionable number of Canadians are unable to regularly purchase produce, and instead are forced to substitute food that is highly processed from places like dollar stores, is a national disgrace.
A lifelong storyteller, Karen believes that change happens one person at a time, one story at a time. And that good food has the universal power to bring people together. Karen’s passion for people and commitment to social justice intersect at the Parkdale Food Centre, reminding her that this is what she has always been meant to do.
“A lot of my life, people have told me ‘Don’t do that,’ or ‘Don’t do this,’ but I’m a colourful character and live by the words ‘Be yourself.”