Greenbelt Fund grants create systemic change in Ontario’s food system

The Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization, supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in Ontario and Ontario’s Greenbelt.

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 on local food visit foodlandontario.ca. Get a copy of our annual report, click here.

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AREAS OF ENGAGEMENT

The Local Food Investment Fund has three streams providing financial support to farmers and local food leaders all with the common goal to increase the amount of local food consumed in Ontario.

Market Access Grant Stream

Market Access Grants focus on increasing market access for small-to-medium sized farmers and processors in order to increase local food choices in grocery stores and restaurants, and public institutions such as hospitals, schools, and cafeterias.

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Broader Public Sector Grant Stream

Public Sector Grants focus on increasing the amount of Ontario food purchased by public institutions such as hospitals, universities, municipal daycares and long-term care facilities, and more.

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Local Food Literacy Grant Stream

As part of significant work on local food literacy, organizations are holding awareness and educational events, preparing resource materials, and engaging stakeholders. The Local Food Literacy Grant Stream aims to support work that builds on these initiatives, addressing gaps in the existing work to lead towards a stronger local agriculture system.

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Local Food Policy:

The Greenbelt Fund undertakes analysis of policies and regulations that affect the amount of local Ontario food consumed in the province. The Fund also publishes a series of Green Papers, which address key barriers associated with large-scale local food sourcing.

Local Food Education and Outreach:

Creating connections between farmers and local food leaders is the key to moving more local Ontario food throughout the province. The Fund creates these links through a variety of projects including Ontariofresh.ca, the only province-wide online marketing service where wholesale buyers can source a diverse range and volume of Ontario products. The Fund’s Regional Food Hub Pilot Project will demonstrate how to link a mainstream distributor with a regional aggregator to source and supply local products to customers in their region, providing small and medium sized farmers with access to markets.

Local Food Networks:

Creating connections between farmers and local food leaders is the key to moving more local Ontario food throughout the province. The Fund creates these links through a variety of projects including Ontariofresh.ca, the only province-wide online marketing service where wholesale buyers can source a diverse range and volume of Ontario products. The Fund’s Regional Food Hub Pilot Project will demonstrate how to link a mainstream distributor with a regional aggregator to source and supply local products to customers in their region, providing small and medium sized farmers with access to markets.