Ontario Government and Greenbelt Fund Supporting More Access to Local Food

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2016

ONTARIO GOVERNMENT AND GREENBELT FUND SUPPORTING MORE ACCESS TO LOCAL FOOD
Province Supporting Projects to Bring More Local Food to Ontario Homes and Restaurants

The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Government of Ontario, is supporting 27 local food projects that make it easier for people across the province to access and enjoy Ontario-grown food.

Click here for a full list of all grants announced in Round 2 of the Local Food Investment Fund.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal made the announcement along with Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund at Gordon Food Service in Milton this morning. The company’s project, “Ontario Ingredients for Success,” will strengthen connections between foodservice operators, growers and processors in Ontario and provide support to promotional campaigns in restaurants highlighting Ontario-grown options to consumers.

Gordon Food Service is partnering with Mushrooms Canada, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, Ontario Turkey Growers and Egg Farmers of Ontario to increase the sale of Ontario food by $5 million each year.

“Gordon Food Service is showing strong leadership in recognizing the value that buying local has for Ontario’s economy,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “From match-making producers with restauranteurs to helping promote local food items on the menu, this project will mean more Ontarians will be able to eat local even when eating out.”

“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is helping to source more agricultural products from Ontario growers and producers to get more local food onto Ontario plates, which is creating new opportunities for the agri-food sector,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This funding encourages the private sector to invest and help strengthen the value chain so that more Ontario-grown, raised and harvested food is enjoyed across the province.”

“Gordon Food Service is committed to continually working to find ways to increase our offerings of Ontario local food,” said Lisa MacNeil, President of Gordon Food Service, Ontario Division. “This project supports the local food movement by shining a spotlight on quality Ontario ingredients. Thank you to the Greenbelt Fund and Ontario egg, grain, greenhouse vegetable, mushroom and turkey farmers for sharing our passion.”

The Greenbelt Fund is investing more than $1.3 million to support 27 projects across Ontario through the Local Food Investment Fund, bringing more Ontario-grown and raised food to Ontarians. The program is administered by the Greenbelt Fund, which has seen a 13:1 return on investment on its grants made since 2010.

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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, businesses 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.

About Gordon Food Service:
Gordon Food Service is North America’s largest privately held, family-managed broadline foodservice distributor. In Canada, Gordon Food Service has 8 distribution centres and several strategic alliance companies to support the needs of customers in the broader public sector as well as multi-unit and independent operators. Gordon Food Service Ontario is a full food service solutions provider; helping to inspire the Ontario food service industry, which serves 7,500,000 visitors every day.

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