HALIFAX, March 4, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that Hope Blooms Youth Social Entrepreneurial Ventures is receiving $25,000 under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund to achieve its vision of a Global Kitchen for Social Change. Hope Blooms is one of the first organizations to receive funding in the first round of the Government of Canada's Local Food Infrastructure Fund.
Today's announcement supports eight new cooking stations, with the goal of giving more opportunities for community members to come together to cook food, share meals, teach cooking classes and support food entrepreneurs. This new space will allow Hope Blooms to welcome an additional 70 at-risk youth and 65 families. The project will also support the youth of Hope Blooms in their newly appointed roles as 2019 United Nations Ambassadors for teaching Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 2008, Hope Blooms has had a measurable impact on food security and social inclusion in Halifax. It actively engages youth to grow food in 4,000 square feet of organic food gardens year-round. Youth from Hope Blooms gained national attention in Season 8 of CBC's Dragon's Den, when they secured $40,000 to build a new greenhouse to keep up with demand of the salad dressing they make with locally-grown ingredients.
Across Canada, the Local Food Infrastructure Fund will deliver $50 million over 5 years to help small community-based organizations purchase equipment that increases accessibility of healthy, local foods within their community, such as urban gardens, community kitchens, food banks, and greenhouses. It is part of the federal Government's first-ever Food Policy for Canada that has the vision of ensuring all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe and healthy food, within a Canadian food system that supports both our environment and the economy.
"Helping all Canadians access healthy food is something I care very much about. Through the important investments announced today at Hope Blooms, we are taking meaningful steps to help people in Halifax learn about preparing culturally diverse foods while welcoming more at-risk youth to their facility. This is part of the vision for our Food Policy for Canada to ensure a food system that is more sustainable and more equitable for all."
- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Hope Blooms has an excellent reputation for making a difference and making our community proud. With the funding announced today, Hope Blooms will be able to open new cooking stations, enabling them to have an even greater impact in the community. Through their hard work, this organization is improving food security, education and social inclusion in Halifax."
- Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax Centre
"The Food Infrastructure funding will support Hope Blooms in creating collaborative kitchen spaces that are culturally relevant and have the capacity to not just provide food access to our youth, but also include families in food gaining food access and food programming. This enables people facing food insecurity to be actively involved in creating solutions and making impact within the community they live in."
- Jessie Jollymore, Executive Director, Hope Blooms
- 240 projects Across Canada are being funded through the first round of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, totaling $4.4 milion.
- In Nova Scotia, a total of 8 projects are being supported, for a total of up to $169,956.
- Applications for the first round of funding took place from August to November 2019, and the second round of applications are expected to launch in spring 2020.
- The Local Food Infrastructure Fund is part of the Food Policy for Canada, supporting our country in meeting commitments under the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, including to end hunger, promote good health, cut food waste, and encourage sustainable food systems.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
For further information: Oliver Anderson, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, [email protected], Mobile: 613-462-4327; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972, [email protected]