More Local Food for Thunder Bay Public Institutions

October 18, 2012

MORE LOCAL FOOD FOR THUNDER BAY PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
Greenbelt Fund Grants to Infuse $14.4 Million into the Ontario Economy

The City of Thunder Bay is taking leadership in bringing more local food to the public institutions in the region. The Greenbelt Fund is funding the City to establish and strengthen connections between local farmers and institutions. This grant is one of 17 innovative projects announced today.

With support from the Ontario government, the Greenbelt Fund is providing grants to organizations to bring more Ontario food into schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and long-term care homes. To date, the Greenbelt Fund has supported 38 projects that have resulted in an increase of nearly $12 million in Ontario food purchases. This fourth round of grants is projected to increase Ontario food purchases by an additional $14.4 million.

With the help of this funding, the City of Thunder Bay will conduct research into the needs of local public institutions and the capacity of farmers. By identifying these needs the City can help to bridge gaps between public sector purchasers, the agricultural community and others in the value chain in the Thunder Bay area.

The Greenbelt Fund is assisting farm operations and food distributors to work together bringing more Ontario food into the food value chain. Projects within health care institutions, municipalities, universities, and food service companies are resulting in more Ontario food on menus; growing customer satisfaction.

“I congratulate the City of Thunder Bay for leading by example. Your efforts will help bring more of the good things that grow in Ontario into your public institutions and strengthen your community’s social and economic health.”
–Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“The City of Thunder Bay is demonstrating leadership by identifying the need for more collaboration between institutions and local farmers. The success of this project will set an example for other northern Ontario communities and showcases the region’s vibrant agricultural community.”
- Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Greenbelt Fund

“I’m happy that our government was able to provide funding to the Greenbelt Fund to allow the local applicants to receive this $100,000 grant. Our government is hopeful that organizations receiving our funding assistance will be well positioned to promote the consumption of local food.”
- Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay – Atikokan

“This is great news for the City of Thunder Bay. The funding distributed by the Greenbelt Fund will help put local and regional food on the menus of our hospital,long-term care facilities, daycares, schools, universities and colleges and increase the use of local foods which is very important.”
- Mayor Keith Hobbs, The City of Thunder Bay

About the Greenbelt Fund:

The Greenbelt Fund is a sister organization of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. With funding from the Ontario government, the Greenbelt Fund is
helping to increase the amount of Ontario food served in daycares, schools, universities and colleges, hospitals and long-term care homes.

This program provides grants to local food industry leaders, producers, distributors, food service providers and public institutions working to serve more Ontario food. Helping to overcome challenges, support economic growth and the sustainability of agriculture in Ontario, the Fund’s goal is to help create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food in the province’s public institutions.

For more information or to book an interview, please contact:
Julienne Spence
Office: 416-960-0001 ext. 311
Mobile: 416-795-8892
jspence@greenbeltfund.ca