About Gramma Willi

grammawilli&friendROUGH TIMES COOKBOOK
About the Author: Willi (Wilhelmina) A. Nolan SA

Willi Nolan’s background as a single mother on welfare and crusader for economic opportunities for low-income women gives her an unbeatable background as the author of The Rough Times Cookbook. She developed the book to share her knowledge and experiences with others who live in the kind of poverty that she now looks back on with gratitude (for the learning experiences), and some less-than-fond memories.

Nolan understands that people need good food, and that eating well when you’re poor is a major challenge. She raised two children while on and off welfare and both had food allergies. Rising to the challenge of keeping her own kids healthy, she noticed reported increases in food and environment related childhood allergies and illnesses. This sparked a life-long commitment to community wellness. Her history reflects this commitment:

Since 1998, Nolan has worked under world-renowned epidemiologist Dr. Rosalie Bertell and the International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH).

In 1997, women from the Canadian “Shelter Movement” honored Wilhelmina with its Remarkable Woman Award for her particular achievement as founding President of Project Esperance Non-Profit Corporation in 1987. Esperance continues to provide housing and support services to women and children survivors of family violence in Toronto.

From 1994 to 1995, she attained the position of Vice President of the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto. She also served as spokesperson for the Women’s CED Network of Toronto (Women’s Community Economic Development Network), an organization designed to advance sustainable financial opportunities for women of low income.

In 1993, Nolan became a co-chair of the Coalition for a Green Economic Recovery, which promotes alternatives to environmentally hazardous business practices.

In 1994, she opened “Green Clean,” Canada’s first alternative to conventional, highly toxic dry cleaning.

In 1991, Wilhelmina launched Bio Business International Inc., which marketed “terra femme” environment and body-friendly feminine care products.

In 1994, Nolan was honored with the first cross-appointment in Ontario history to the Child and Family Services Review Board and Custody Review Board by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. That same year, Willi was appointed by the Minister to the federal Environmental Partners Fund.

Using the tools of citizen action and education, she has served her community with dedication as a Board member, administrator, consultant and front-line worker for various organizations in Ontario, New Brunswick, and beyond, including:

Good Life Gathering for Youth, Elders and Community Leaders

Sierra Club

(Big Cove) Elsipogtog Restorative Justice Initiative

Toronto’s Native Women’s Resource Center

International Institute of Concern for Public Health

Women, Environments, Education and Development Foundation (WEED)

Coalition for a Green Economy

The Emily Stowe Shelter for Women

Wilhelmina lives in community with her son in rural New Brunswick.

Contact information:

ROUGH TIMES COOKBOOK c/o The Backwoods Writing House

© Wilhelmina Nolan 2001, 2002, 2009

Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 2:06 PM  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Grandma Willi,
    Thank you for all the work you do: on your blog, you videos, etc! The way that you inform people of the many changes in the “food industry” is just great!

    There is a lot more that I could say…but I have a question for you:
    I noticed that there no fish recipes (unless I missed them).


    Debra Lane

    • Hi Debra, thanks for the kind words. Being a little leery of toxins in our waters, I don’t eat much fish, except in season. The Rough Times Cookbook has fish chowder and fishcake recipes… now let’s see if my old brain will remember to post them for you!
      Good Food for Everyone!
      Gramma Willi

  2. Hi, Willi – love this page – enjoyed talking to you today!
    I do not use Face Book but know we will keep connected without that.
    Big HUG,

    • Hi Marcy, It was a pleasure to talk with you too!.
      I’m working my way through my correspondence and am delighted that you like the blog pages. I hope to have more video content later this year… wish us luck.
      Your work in education seems wonderful, I hope that we’ll find a way to bring our approaches to wellness together to benefit students!
      Be well, Willi

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