Ontario Government Boosting Support for Local Food with $1M in Additional Funding for Greenbelt Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 5, 2017

ONTARIO GOVERNMENT BOOSTING SUPPORT FOR LOCAL FOOD WITH $1M IN ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR GREENBELT FUND
New funding supports Local Food Investment Fund projects across Ontario

Toronto – Kicking off Local Food Week Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the Government of Ontario is supporting agriculture with an additional $1 million in funding for the Local Food Investment Fund. The Local Food Investment Fund supports farmers, agri-food business and non-profits to get more local food on Ontario plates.

“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is making it easier for Ontarians to choose more locally-grown food. This additional funding will support the continued growth of Ontario’s powerhouse agri-food sector, delivering good jobs, creating strong rural and urban communities, and growing local economies,” states Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.”

The announcement was made at Heydon Park Secondary School, and showcased the school’s partnership with FoodShare, a Greenbelt Fund grantee. The school’s culinary program uses vegetables and herbs grown in the school garden to feed students in the cafeteria, embedding local food literacy in the school culture.

“The Government of Ontario is a terrific partner to the Greenbelt Fund, and their support has allowed us to invest in innovative local food projects across Ontario,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “With this additional $1 million, we will be able to invest in even more of the farmers and entrepreneurs we are celebrating during Local Food Week.”

This funding is in addition to the $6 million provided in 2015 to the Greenbelt Fund to support local food access, local food literacy, and broader public sector local food procurement by delivering initiatives, such as the Local Food Investment Fund. Since 2015, $3.8m has been invested in over 75 local food projects across Ontario, leveraging millions more in matching investments and delivering a 13:1 return on investment.

In addition to announcing $1 million in new funding, the Government of Ontario launched consultations on locally-grown world foods, to increase understanding of the demand for culturally appropriate, locally grown and raised foods for Canada’s diverse population. The consultations began with an in-person stakeholder engagement, and will engage residents and stakeholders online at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/policy/world-foods.htm.

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About the Local Food Investment Fund:
In 2015, the Ontario government provided the Greenbelt Fund with $6 million over three years to support initiatives that will help support the province’s local food strategy by enhancing consumer awareness and access to local food, as well as generating demand and supply of Ontario foods and beverages. The investment supports initiatives such as the Local Food Investment Fund, which is a grant program for farmers and other businesses along the agri-food value chain, broader public sector institutions, and not-for-profits working to increase the amount of Ontario-grown and made food purchased and enjoyed across the province. The Local Food Investment Fund's three grant streams focus on enhancing local food literacy, increasing market access for small and mid-size Ontario farmers and processors and increasing purchases of local food in the broader public sector, such as hospitals and universities.

About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. The Fund’s innovative investments get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians. We work with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers. The Fund’s work has generated a 13-fold return on our investments, permanently changed the food value chain and improved local food awareness and education around the province. As a not-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources.

Contact for Greenbelt Fund:
Erica Woods
Communications Manager
Greenbelt Fund
Phone: (416) 960-0001 ext. 306
Mobile: (647) 834-5657
ewoods@greenbeltfund.ca