June 8, 2016
ONTARIO AND GREENBELT FUND BRINGING MORE LOCAL FOOD TO ONTARIO COLLEGES
Local Food Investment Fund Supporting 23 Local Food Projects With $1.5 Million In Funding
The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Ontario Government, is providing Mohawk College with $100,000 in funding through the Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) to develop the first provincial local food procurement model for Ontario colleges. Along with increasing local food literacy and availability at Mohawk College, the pilot project is expected to increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over two years at three participating colleges.
Results from the pilot project will be shared at a province-wide summit for colleges in the fall of 2017 to help other post-secondary institutions find opportunities to increase their own procurement of locally sourced food. Mohawk College is expecting the project to help increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over the next two years — a 15:1 return on the LFIF’s investment.
“Mohawk College’s leadership in local food will create a model that can be replicated across the province,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “The public sector spends $745 million on food each year, and we are investing to make sure more of that money is spent on Ontario grown and made food.”
“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is helping to expose more students and young people across this province to the great foods we grow, harvest and make here in Ontario, while helping to create new opportunities for our local agri-food producers,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.. “By tapping into broader public sector institutions, like colleges, this funding can change procurement habits to ensure more public money is spent buying Ontario products, and in turn, make more Ontarians aware of local food while building a strong agri-food sector to help grow our economy.”
“Mohawk College is committed to sustainability and local food is a key component of that commitment,” said Deborah Brown, Vice President of Corporate Services at Mohawk College. “Our hope is to use our experience to establish best practices we can share with Colleges Ontario to change the way students eat across the province.”
Through the LFIF, the Greenbelt is investing nearly $850,000 to support ten projects in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, bringing more Ontario grown and raised food to Ontarians. A total of $1.5 million in funding is being invested across the province.
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 increase the awareness, demand, purchasing and access of local food. The investment supports initiatives such as the Greenbelt’s Local Food Investment Fund, which is a grant program for farmers, businesses and not-for-profits working to increase the amount of Ontario food purchased and enjoyed across the province. The Local Food Investment Fund's grant streams focus on market access, the broader public sector and local food literacy.
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. Our 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.
Phone: (416) 960-0001 ext. 306