More Ontario Food for Municipalities
-Greenbelt Fund Announces Second Round of Grants-
TORONTO, Aug. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Exciting changes are happening as more municipalities in the province are serving Ontario food. With support from the Ontario government, the Greenbelt Fund is helping to increase the amount of Ontario food served in daycares, schools, universities and colleges, hospitals and long-term care facilities through the Broader Public Sector Investment Fund: Promoting Ontario Food. This funding will give children, patients and residents greater access to the nutritious food grown and produced in Ontario. Food distributors, farmers, buyers and operators are working together to change procurement practices to increase the use of local food, creating a ripple effect of change across the broader public sector.
Now, even more local food will be available in these facilities through the second round of grants announced today, which will support an additional 15 innovative projects.
The County of Guelph Wellington, is working to increase awareness of its diverse local food system. This grant will expand the bounty of local food provided to 99 public institutions. Involved in the projects are six municipalities, three high schools, five day care centres, three health care facilities and one university. The overall goal is for food purchases to reach 65 per cent.
From small and large farm operations to food distributors, the local food movement is spreading along the food value chain. With a total of 27 projects approved to date, we are beginning to see the results and this second round of grantees are building on that momentum.
"When we buy Ontario, everyone wins. It strengthens the local economy
and supports our farmers. Through this program, we are increasing the
amount of local food in the kitchens of our hospitals, schools,
daycares and other public institutions, providing our patients and
families with fresh, local Ontario food."
- Carol Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
"We're helping Guelph Wellington Local Food source more Ontario food
from local growers and farmers, which will help our local economy. This
project will also provide more local, healthy and nutritious food to
Guelph's public institutions, which will benefit the community."
- Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph
"The vast availability of fresh Ontario food in our county inspired us
to grow the amount of local food served in our public institutions.
This grant from the Greenbelt Fund provides us the opportunity to
create channels and networks to increase the County of Wellington and
Ontario food found on the plates of high schools, day care centres and
health care facilities and other public institutions."
- Kate Vsetula, Guelph Wellington Local Food
"In this second round of grants we are seeing leaders who are creating
systemic change to incorporate more Ontario food into their food
service operations. Municipalities are just one of the organizations
leading this charge and taking initiatives to put more high quality
Ontario food and home-cooked meals in their day care centres and
long-term care facilities."
- Bill Duron, Program Director, Greenbelt Fund
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund is a sister organization of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. With funding from the Ontario Government, the Fund is helping to increase the amount of Ontario food served in daycares, schools, universities and colleges, hospitals and long-term care facilities through its program, the Broader Public Sector Investment Fund: Promoting Ontario Food.
This program provides grants to local food industry leaders, producers, distributors, food service providers and public institutions working to serve more Ontario food. Helping to overcome challenges, support economic growth and the sustainability of agriculture in Ontario, the Fund's goal is to help create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food in the province's public institutions. For more information about the program, please visit www.bpsinvestmentfund.ca.For further information:
For more information or to book an interview, please contact:
Office: 416-960-0001, ext. 311
Senior Advisor, Communications
Office of the Minister
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs