TORONTO, April 9, 2014 /CNW/ - FoodShare is the recipient of a Toronto Community Foundation Vital Ideas grant, provided by KPMG, through a strategic collaboration called Vital Impact: Vital Toronto. With a vision of "Good Healthy Food For All", FoodShare will use the $30,000 grant to document, scale up, and share its School Grown Social Enterprise model, a comprehensive schoolyard farming project that uses proceeds from its business operations to increase food literacy education programming throughout the city. The Vital Ideas grant program provides grants for strategic activities beyond direct programming.
As part of the Vital Impact: Vital Toronto collaboration, 50 KPMG people volunteered their time and skills in teams to review six grant applications, shortlisted by Community Foundation staff, and then conducted site visits. The KPMG teams made presentations to their peers about the grant applicants, and then over a hundred KPMG people voted for one organization to receive the grant. The process, which took place over approximately two months, connected KPMG's people to some of the city's most inspiring community organizations and deepened their knowledge of the complex issues the organizations work to address.
"FoodShare is so delighted to have the skill, passion and commitment of the talented KPMG professionals to help us measure the transformative impacts of our School Grown program," said Debbie Field, Executive Director, FoodShare Toronto. "Groups like us often have all the ideas in the world, and cannot afford the business advice to make these ideas succeed."
Since the Community Foundation and KPMG collaboration started four years ago, over 225 KPMG people have been involved with 30 Vital Ideas short-listed organizations across the Greater Toronto Area.
"Our community approach revolves around the belief that business is only successful if our communities are successful and that it takes the collective effort of every one of our people to have real impact," said Beth Wilson, Managing Partner, GTA and National Community Leader, KPMG. "It takes more than writing cheques and attending fundraising dinners. It takes corporate partners who are willing to align their efforts – and community strategy – behind truly meaningful enterprises to make a difference. It starts at the grassroots level with hands-on involvement from KPMG people engaging as community leaders with organizations and causes they are passionate about."
"FoodShare is a pioneering, well-respected international leader in the food security field. They are very deserving of this Vital Ideas grant to help them reach the next level," said Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation. "As partners, KPMG and the Community Foundation took up the challenge to think differently about philanthropy and the results are well worth the effort. Not only is Vital Impact: Vital Toronto making a positive impact in our communities, KPMG's over 3,000 people in the GTA are integrating community leadership into their professional lives."
About the Toronto Community Foundation
Our mission is to connect philanthropy with community needs and opportunities all with a vision to make Toronto the best place to live, work, learn and grow. As an independent public foundation we work with donors to create endowments and invest in the city of Toronto, through philanthropy and our city building work. We call it the Art of Wise Giving. For more information, please visit www.tcf.ca.
KPMG provides Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We work closely with our clients, helping them to mitigate risks and grasp opportunities.
KPMG LLP is the Canadian member firm of KPMG International. KPMG International's member firms have 155,000 employees working in 155 countries/territories around the world.
We are committed to making our communities stronger, more vibrant and better places to live and work by channeling our collective experience, skills and energy to drive positive social change and enable our communities to thrive.
About FoodShare Toronto
FoodShare Toronto works in schools and neighbourhoods to increase access to and knowledge of Good Healthy Food. Our School Grown gardens create spaces where students plant, harvest, prepare, cook, eat and sell produce, gaining summer employment and agriculture and workplace skills.
SOURCE: Toronto Community Foundation
For further information: Media contacts: Simone Dalton, Manager, Media Relations & Communications, Toronto Community Foundation, 416-921-2035 ext. 218, firstname.lastname@example.org; Rick Goldsmith, Partner, KPMG LLP, 416-777-3561, email@example.com; Debbie Field, Executive Director, FoodShare Toronto, 416-363-6441 ext. 228, firstname.lastname@example.org