Winnipeg Harvest Founder Lee Newton Steps Down

The founder of Winnipeg Harvest is stepping down from the organization she founded 25 years ago.

Lee Newton announced her departure from the food bank on Monday, saying she is embarking on the next chapter of her life.

It was a TV program about a New York City food bank that inspired Newton in 1983 to try the same thing here. In 1985, Winnipeg Harvest opened its doors and has been serving the community ever since — feeding 49,000 Manitobans a month.

“I have learned that everyone at Harvest takes a great deal of pride and sense of ownership for their jobs,” Newton said in a statement. “I have learned that it is just as valid when a disabled volunteer can make five food hampers an hour as when an able-bodied person can make 50.”

Executive director David Northcott praised Newton’s work, saying, “Her gifts and contributions have made life better for many Manitobans.”

Before her venture at the age of 30 to open Winnipeg Harvest, Newton was the head of the design department at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.