A Year in the Life of Local Food

Sometimes, small and simple is the way to go, a philosophy that is the driving force behind the Greenbelt Fund’s Local Food Challenge.

By now you may have heard that the 2014 Challenge is up and running, and 10 public institutions are embarking on a year-long project to bring more local food awareness and purchasing to their foodservice. When we put the call out for projects, we left it open. Projects could be almost anything, as long as they could be completed in one year, with $15,000 or less, and resulted in an increase of at least 10 per cent Ontario food procurement in a public sector institution. We can’t wait to share what they will be up to!

As we begin this new year of projects, we must first wrap up the 2013 Challenge, and send our previous Challengers off to build on the lessons they have learned, and the encouragement to keep their projects going. We were inspired by their successes, and were thrilled to honour their hard work and innovation at our Discover Local reception, held at Café Soleil in the Direct Energy Centre at this year’s Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association Trade Show. As guests enjoyed local food and drink, we presented each of our Local Food Challenge 2013 participants with a beautiful poster of Ontario’s Greenbelt, framed in reclaimed Ontario barnboard.

The Challengers showed that with a small amount of time and resources, but a lot of passion, amazing things are possible. As their posters read: They put something of themselves on the line for local food. It matters.

All the 2013 Local Food Challengers!

Some of the 2013 Local Food Challengers at the CRFA Discover Local Event (Photo By Laura Berman)

Follow the Local Food Challenge on Ontariofresh.ca, and on Twitter, #LFC2014

- Kelly Hughes, Education and Outreach Specialist