Lee Newton has been selected as the WinnipegRealtors Citizens Hall of Fame 2017 inductee.

Newton, who died in 2014, started Winnipeg Harvest in 1985 on her 33rd birthday. The non-profit food bank now feeds thousands of people each month through an army of volunteers.

“In many respects I see Lee Newton as a social entrepreneur, an inspirational one at that, where she identified a real community issue – hunger,” says Cliff King, chair of WinnipegRealtors. “After seeing a documentary in the early 1980s about a food bank in New York, her eureka moment came and she did something about it. She approached the solution in a very pragmatic way since there was so much waste in all the surplus food that was being thrown out throughout the city.

“Far from just providing her food for thought, Newton germinated the seed of this idea and put her vision into action. Today Winnipeg Harvest distributes 12 million pounds of food to more than 340 agencies per month and feeds nearly 64,000 people across Manitoba, almost half of which are children,” says King.

Lee is the 44th inductee since the program’s inception in 1986. Recently Newton’s bronze portraiture, created by local sculptor Madeleine Vrignon, was installed at the Citizens Hall of Fame site in Assiniboine Park.  Newton’s husband, Jim Crawford and her brothers, Blaine and Boyd Newton, accepted the Citizens Hall of Fame bronze medallion at an induction ceremony and reception held in her honour.