January 10, 2014
MORE LOCAL FOOD FOR CITY OF THUNDER BAY
Fresh, Healthy, Local Food Coming to Public Institutions in Thunder Bay
Thanks to the City, LA Quality Foods, and Belluz Farms
The Greenbelt Fund is awarding $210,000 in funding to support three innovative projects in Thunder Bay that will increase access to fresh, healthy, local food for the community.
With support from the Greenbelt Fund, and funding from the Ontario government, the City of Thunder Bay will provide more local food options for municipal and regional facilities including long-term care homes and daycares. LA Quality Foods has received funding to provide opportunities for beef farmers in Northern Ontario to extend the reach of their product and Belluz Farms will increase market opportunities for farmers in the Thunder Bay area.
“The City of Thunder Bay has proven their determination and enthusiasm for increasing local food on several fronts. This next phase is an exciting one as they team up with LA Quality Foods and Belluz Farms, and other local food leaders, to put more local food on our plates. The result—more local food for Ontarians and a happier, healthier community,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund.
The City of Thunder Bay’s Strengthening Connections Between Local Food, Public Daycares, and Long-Term Care Facilities ($80,000) project includes breaking new ground on developing an innovative local food purchasing model that will see more local food served in places such as long-term care homes, child care centres, and post-secondary institutions.
LA Quality Foods’ Local Beef ($45,000) project includes collaboration with Rainy River Regional Abattoir and the Thunder Bay Cattlemen’s Association, to work with local farmers to implement a much needed tracking system that will help farmers supply institutional markets by enabling them to track individual cuts of meat to their originating farm.
Belluz Farms’ Superior Seasons Packaging and Storage Facility ($85,000) will fill a processing and storage need to create market opportunities for small and medium sized farms in the Thunder Bay area.
“I am pleased with our government’s continued commitment to support local food by providing the City of Thunder Bay, LA Quality Foods and Belluz Farms with $210,000 in funding for these projects. These partnerships show great leadership within our community. I’d like to thank everyone involved, especially private sector partners Belluz Farms and LA Quality Foods, for their efforts as we work together to support local farmers, families and the economy,” says Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
“I’m proud that the City of Thunder Bay is driving support for the agri-food sector, a top contributor to our province’s economy. These incredibly innovative projects will bring more local food to our community’s long-term care homes and daycares, giving seniors and children more access to fresh, local food while supporting our northern farmers,” says Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“The Greenbelt Fund’s announcement comes at a very important time for our region,” says Greg Alexander, Manager – Community and Emergency Services, City of Thunder Bay. “We realize the importance of a local, healthy food supply to our residents, and the food sector, and we’re committed to working with regional partners on the creation of a comprehensive local food strategy. This grant will help us develop a local food purchasing model. Thank you to the Greenbelt Fund for this vital support. We’re excited about the work we’re doing, and proud to be recognized for it.”
For a more detailed description of these projects and other grants that are a part of the Greenbelt Fund’s Regional Food Grant Program, please visit Ontariofresh.ca.
Since its launch in 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has supported 78 projects with funding totalling $7.4 million, increasing the amount of local food available across the province.
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization, supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in the Greenbelt and Ontario.
The Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail, and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy, and networking initiatives. The Fund is supported by public and private sources. For more information about the program and grants visit Ontariofresh.ca. For more information on local food visit foodlandontario.ca.
For more information about the Ontario government’s new Local Food Act and broader local food strategy, visit ontario.ca/localfood.
Communications Manager, Greenbelt Fund
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306
MPP Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay-Atikokan
Greenbelt Fund Grantees and Speakers (from left): Henriet DeBruin, Vice President, Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture; Carol Maki, President, Thunder Bay Cattlemen’s Association; MPP Michael Gravelle Thunder Bay-Superior North; Kathy Macpherson, VP Research & Policy Greenbelt Fund; MPP Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay-Atikokan; Kevin Belluz, Belluz Farms; Jodi Belluz, Belluz Farms; Bill Darby, Rainy River District Regional Abattoir; Luis Alves, LA Quality Foods
MPP Michael Gravelle,Thunder Bay-Superior North