Fresh, Healthy, Local Food Coming to Toronto Hospital Thanks to George Brown College
TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - An innovative collaboration between George Brown College and St. Michael's Hospital means more fresh, healthy meals made from local food will be on the plates of patients, staff, and visitors.
With support from the Greenbelt Fund, and funding from the Ontario government, George Brown College, has partnered with St. Michael's Hospital to develop a certification course for hospital foodservice staff.
"George Brown College is a trailblazer in local food education, and St. Michael's Hospital is an industry leader in preparing fresh, delicious patient food in-house. This cutting-edge initiative and partnership will demonstrate the possibilities for incorporating more Ontario-grown ingredients into high quality, home-cooked meals within health care facilities. The result–more local food for Ontarians and a happier and healthier patient, staff, and visitor experience," says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund.
The College's project, Cultivating Change: Local Food Within the Healthcare Sector ($120,000), will see St. Michael's staff experiment with "from scratch" local food recipes to reveal skill gaps, while George Brown students test recipes to understand how the healthcare kitchen operates. St. Michael's will offer internship placements where George Brown students work alongside hospital staff to assist with ongoing menu creation featuring local food.
"This project shows great leadership in our community by both George Brown College and St. Michael's Hospital and is an important investment for my constituents. It's important to me too, because it supports our farmers, families, and the economy," says Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre.
"George Brown College is very happy to receive this grant from the Greenbelt Fund to develop healthy and delicious recipes for St. Michael's Hospital and increase the use of local, seasonal ingredients in public sector kitchens," says Lorraine Trotter, Dean, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, George Brown College. "Not only will the creative and nutritious recipes aid in patients' recovery, but our students will also benefit from this project by gaining valuable experience that will prepare them for the workplace."
Additional Greenbelt Fund grant recipients announced today are 100km Foods Inc., Aramark Canada, Local Food Plus, Sustain Ontario, and The Hospital for Sick Children. For a detailed description of projects visit Ontariofresh.ca.
Since its launch in 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has supported 78 projects with funding totalling $7.4 million, increasing the amount of local food available across the province. The Province's total investments toward broader sector programming has resulted in $26 million in additional Ontario food in daycares, schools, universities, and colleges – or a four to one return on investment for every dollar spent.
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization, supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in the Greenbelt and Ontario.
The Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail, and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund's goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy, and networking initiatives. The Fund is supported by public and private sources. For more information about the program and grants visit Ontariofresh.ca. For more information on local food visit foodlandontario.ca.
For more information about the Ontario government's new Local Food Act and broader local food strategy, visit ontario.ca/localfood.
BACKGROUNDER: GREENBELT FUND BRINGS MORE LOCAL FOOD TO PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
With support from the Greenbelt Fund, and funding from the Ontario government, today $470,000 in funding is being given to organizations in Toronto to bring more local food to Ontarians. The Regional Food Grant Program provides financial support to farmers and local food leaders all with the common goal to increase the amount of local food available across the province.
The projects being funded in the Toronto area are:
100km Foods Inc. Giving Rural Communities Access to Urban Markets and Urban Markets Access to Rural Communities ($195,000)
100km Foods Inc. will significantly expand their operations and local food distribution with a daily pick-up and delivery system. The expansion includes sourcing food from farms in Grey and Wellington Counties and extending their delivery into new areas they currently cannot serve.
Aramark Canada The Business Case for More Local Sustainable Food and Supply Chains ($100,000)
Aramark Canada will establish the business case for supporting local food purchased by university campuses, ultimately changing how large foodservice companies think about local food. Pilot projects at Trent University, University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University/Glendon College will assess how to increase local food purchases in both residence and cafeteria/food court settings. The pilots will be supported by a mobile app that allows for local food tracking from field to plate.
George Brown College Cultivating Change: Local Food Within the Healthcare Sector ($120,000)
George Brown College is partnering with St. Michael's Hospital to develop a certification course to train St. Michael's foodservice staff on how to prepare fresh, local foods in healthcare kitchens. St. Michael's staff will experiment with "from scratch" local food recipes to reveal skill gaps, while George Brown students will test recipes to understand how the healthcare kitchen operates. St. Michael's will offer internship placements where George Brown students work alongside hospital staff to assist with ongoing menu creation featuring local food. George Brown will then replicate the training program at one additional healthcare facility.
Local Food Plus Brokering Connections from Producer to Market ($15,000)
Local Food Plus will assess the market demand for developing a brokerage service for local and sustainable foods. They will analyze existing business models and conduct extensive consultations with market partners on both the supply and demand side. Broker services are used in the food industry as an alternative to hiring a sales force in order to access hard-to-reach markets.
Sustain Ontario Leveraging Best Practices in Municipal Procurement ($10,000)
Sustain Ontario will work with two to three municipalities to create implementation plans for buy-local programs. They will research the municipal food/local food policy context and potential impacts of buy-local policies. The plans will include details on the types of local food that will be purchased, and targets for increases in local food.
The Hospital for Sick Children Making it Work: Creating Effective Strategies for Incorporating Local, Sustainable Food into Public Institutions ($30,000)
The Hospital for Sick Children will position itself as a local food leader by removing barriers to local food procurement. They will develop a local produce procurement policy for retail foodservices, and research the different types of food safety regulations processors follow. They will then consult with internal hospital and municipal stakeholders to identify which standards adequately satisfy their food safety concerns.
For more information about the Greenbelt Fund and all of our grant projects please visit Ontariofresh.ca.
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306
SOURCE: Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
For further information: Jennifer Asselin, Communications Manager, Greenbelt Fund, Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306, [email protected]; Anne-Marie Flanagan, Flanagan & Associates, Phone: (416) 735-3690, [email protected]