Increasing Local Food Purchases
Ontario’s broader public sector institutions—municipal daycares, long-term care facilities, universities, colleges, school boards and hospitals—are a sizeable market opportunity for Ontario farmers. With an estimated $745 million in food and beverage sales made by broader public sector institutions and contract caterers, this sector has the potential to substantially invest in, and help sustain, agriculture in Ontario.
Ontario’s public institutions have often led to change, such as implementing recycling programs, developing green building standards, and eliminating trans-fats and reducing sodium in high school cafeterias through the School Food and Beverage Policy (2008). The Broader Public Sector Grant Stream puts the public service at the forefront of change once again, encouraging the establishment of new food service models that respond to Ontarians’ desire for fresh and healthy meals that are prepared with local ingredients.
Goals of Broader Public Sector Grant Stream
- To increase the amount of Ontario food products purchased by Ontario’s broader public sector, specifically municipal, college, university, school board and hospital foodservices.
- To enhance the capacity of the agri-food sector (farms, processors, distributors, and others) to access the broader public sector foodservice industry to highlight the availability and increase the purchases of local products.
Areas of Focus
This grant stream has five areas of focus, as outlined below:
- Skills Development – increase local food handling and preparation skills so that more institutions can create local food menus
- Organizational Change – drive organizational change within institutions, distributors and foodservice operators to make local food a priority.
- Value Chain Collaboration – foster value chain collaboration to enable better communication and stronger relationships between our farmers, processors, distributors and institutions.
- Policy Change – support changes to policies and practices that increase local food purchases and tracking by institutions.
- Innovation and Product Development – facilitate innovation to find and/or develop local food products that meet the specific needs of our public institutions.
For examples of activities that could form parts of a project, or to learn more about the eligibility requirements, download the updated Grant Application Guidelines.
Grant Stream Inquiries
If you have questions about our grant program, please feel free to contact us using our online form and our grant officer will respond to your inquiry.
NOTICE: Application process for the Local Food Investment Fund is currently CLOSED.
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