More Fresh Local Food For Northern Ontario

October 8, 2014

MORE FRESH LOCAL FOOD FOR NORTHERN ONTARIO
Eat Local Sudbury to Expand Local Food Hub to Include LaCloche-Manitoulin, North Bay, Temiskaming, Muskoka, and parts of Algoma

A new project from Eat Local Sudbury will move forward with the next step to providing more local food to those in northern Ontario.

With support from the Greenbelt Fund and funding from the Ontario government, Eat Local Sudbury will create a business plan expanding their local food hub to include LaCloche-Manitoulin, North Bay, Temiskaming, Muskoka, and parts of Algoma. A local food hub helps with the collection, storage, processing, and distribution of local food, making them more available to the people of Sudbury and the surrounding areas. This project builds on a study already completed by Eat Local Sudbury that examined the feasibility of covering these additional regions.

“As one of the first groups the Fund supported, we have watched Eat Local Sudbury become a local food leader in Ontario’s north,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “Their latest project shows their ability to strive for the very best in their community when it comes to providing opportunities to get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians.”

The Eat Local Sudbury Food Hub Business Plan project ($17,200) will help Eat Local Sudbury, in partnership with the LaCloche-Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation (LAMBAC), coordinate their research and planning as they seek to understand how much food is produced within the regions of expansion, and determine the demand for local food.

“The support of the Greenbelt Fund is integral to the long term strategic development of a robust agri-food sector in the North East Region,” says Peggy Baillie, Managing Director, Eat Local Sudbury Cooperative Inc. “Through proper planning, Eat Local Sudbury in collaboration with producers, purchasers, and institutions will work to increase access to local food through a new food aggregation facility. We appreciate the vision of the Greenbelt in seeing the North East Region as a player in the Ontario agri-food sector, and we are excited to work with provincial stakeholders in overcoming barriers to local food distribution in Ontario.”

“Our government is proud to support projects that help bring the good things that Ontario farmers grow to our dinner plates. Supporting local food initiatives benefits our families, our farmers, strengthens our communities, and boosts our economy,” says Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. 

Grants to Food and Beverage Ontario, Halton Fresh Food BoxOntario Goat Breeders Association, and Sustain Ontario were also announced today. For a detailed description of all of these projects, visit Ontariofresh.ca.

Since its launch in 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has supported dozens of projects, increasing the amount of local food purchased across the province. Ontario’s investments in the Greenbelt Fund are connecting more farmers to new markets and putting more Ontario food in hospitals, schools, daycares, universities, and restaurants. To date, we have increased local food sales by $37.8 million—or a seven to one return on investment for every dollar spent.

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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 the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food website.

Contact:
Jennifer Asselin     
Communications Manager   
Greenbelt Fund    
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306   
jasselin[a]greenbeltfund.ca