Jonathan McNeice, Manager, Our Food Future, Smart Cities Office

Doug MacMillan
Doug MacMillan • 16 November 2021
Jonathan McNeice

A project of the magnitude of Our Food Future requires a total love of circularity – in food systems, in our environment, and in reconciliation. To manage a project of this size, and this importance, is to be completely immersed.

Meet Jonathan McNeice, Manager for Our Food Future, who’s immersion into the project shows in everything he does. In just a few months with the program, he’s made a real impact in a worldwide movement towards a circular future right here in Guelph-Wellington.

“When I first heard about Guelph winning the Smart Cities Challenge for a Circular Food Economy, it made total sense to me” says Jonathan, “Guelph’s deep roots in agriculture and activism, and the need for a healthier food system and climate. Fast forward two years and one pandemic later, I’ve had the opportunity to jump on board and contribute at the municipal level.”

The opportunity to work on such an important project feels right for Jonathan. With 15 years’ experience working in food systems, he says “I’m always excited by the opportunity, I think the window is right, and the place is right in Guelph-Wellington,” he says. “I’ve been immersed by a great team, amazing community partners and projects, and a worldwide undertaking towards circularity, healthier food systems, reducing the impacts of climate change, and reconciliation.”

When asked what the Guelph-Wellington community can do to support the project, Jonathan spoke of community and togetherness. “Think big, get involved, and let’s do this together.”

5 Questions with Jonathan

  1. What television show do you drop everything for?

Well, this is embarrassing but my wife and I enjoy watching 90 Day Fiancé every Sunday.

  1. What recipe or food dish do you absolutely rock at making?

Anything cooked over fire.  Anything Jamie Oliver suggests.

  1. What drink is your guiltiest pleasure?

A Dirty Chai Tea Latte, the best one I’ve ever had was at the Lake Agnes Tea House in Banff National Park, probably because it is a two-hour hike to get there!

  1. Favourite animated movie?

I don’t have one yet, but I soon will with a 3-month-old at home.

  1. What was your first job, and what one thing did it teach you?

My sister had an ice cream counter inside our family’s grocery store.  So as soon as I could reach into the freezer (while standing on a milk crate), I was scooping ice cream for customers.  I learned the value of hard work, long hours, and what ice cream smells like when it has been caked on your arm all day!