Halton Healthcare Centre Champions Local Food for Patients in Halton Hospital

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 8, 2017

HALTON HEALTCARE CENTRE CHAMPIONS LOCAL FOOD FOR PATIENTS IN HALTON HOSPITALS
LOCAL FOOD EXPO SHOWCASES LOCALLY-GROWN FOOD WITH SUPPORT OF ONTARIO GOVERMENT

Oakville, ON – The Ontario government, in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund, is supporting Halton Healthcare in bringing healthy and locally-grown and raised food to patients in Halton.

With a $51,500 grant from the province’s Local Food Investment Fund, Halton Healthcare will launch Phase 2 of its Good For You, Locally Grown initiative. The project will build on the success already made to increase local food served in Halton Healthcare hospitals, and help patients identify local food choices.

To celebrate Local Food Week, Halton Healthcare is hosting a Local Food Expo at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, bringing together partners across the food value chain to champion local food. Gordon Food Service, Turkey Farmers of Ontario, and local growers like Cohn Farms, Martin’s Sweet Farm and Farm to Table are participating in the conversation to get more fresh, Ontario food into healthcare facilities.

“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is making it easier for Ontario’s broader public sector institutions, like Halton Healthcare facilities, to bring more fresh food to Ontario patients. These investments help increase food literacy across the province, strengthen our economy and bring more locally grown, harvested and made food to Ontarians,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

"We’re excited to host this food expo at our new Oakville Hospital, and hope it will be the first of many,” explains Marianne Katusin, Manager, Food Services. “It’s a great opportunity to introduce our community, staff and volunteers to local growers and manufacturers, share our innovative Good for You, Locally Grown project and show the great strides we’ve made in building local food networks with industry partners.”

“Making it easier for hospitals and public institutions to choose local is a top priority for our government through the Local Food Investment Fund. Halton Healthcare’s Local Food Expo showcases a great model that I hope we can see replicated in health care institutions throughout Ontario,” said Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP for Halton.

“The Greenbelt Fund has been a long-time supporter of Halton Healthcare’s leadership in getting more local food into healthcare facilities. Patients and families are happier and healthier when fresh, local food is more readily available,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund.

“Our hospitals serve more than 300,000 residents in the Halton Region – and being able
to serve more fresh, tasty and locally grown food options to our patients and their
families while they are in our care helps enhance our culture of care,” explains Elma
Hrapovich, Director, Support Services. “The Greenbelt Fund provides us with the opportunity to continue to build local networks, support Ontario producers and host Food Expos, and lead the way for other healthcare facilities in Ontario”.

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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 business, 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 non-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources. The Local Food Investment Fund is supported by the Government of Ontario.

About Halton Healthcare:
Halton Healthcare is comprised of three community hospitals - Georgetown Hospital, Milton District Hospital and Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Together these hospitals provide healthcare services to more than 350,000 residents in the communities of Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville. Halton Healthcare hospitals have been recognized for their best practices in a number of patient safety and patient care initiatives. For more information, visit www.haltonhealthcare.com. Follow us on Twitter @HaltonHlthcare.

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