Greenbelt Fund News

The latest about the Greenbelt Fund, our initiatives and local food community.

Bring Food Home; Bring Food to Schools!

The theme of November’s Bring Food Home conference in Windsor, Ontario was “Building Bridges Together,” and this permeated the whole conference. One specific bridge being built more and more across Ontario is the bridge between healthy, local food in school cafeterias and educational programs. We at have a strong attachment to this cause, as seen in our Farm to School Challenge where we asked Ontario schools to purchase more local food. So what did we learn about this narrowing gap between local food and schools? There are many leaders across Ontario doing creative, diverse, and inspirational things to get more local food–and food education–into our schools.

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FEAST ON Program Celebrates Ontario Foodservice Champions This January

For a certified taste of Ontario, look for FEAST ON!

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Local Food Challenge: Carleton University Shows Off All Ottawa Has to Offer

Think about Ottawa for a second. As a Canadian, what probably comes to mind are the iconic images of Parliament Hill, skating on the Rideau Canal, and the ubiquitous Grade 8 class trip.

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Local Food Act: Passed Today

November 5, 2013

Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Bill to Promote Local Food Passes Final Vote
Ontario Committed to Supporting Farmers, Building Stronger Agri-food Industry

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Local Food Challenge: St Michael’s Hospital Provides a “Market” for Local Food

When you think of a farmers’ market you might picture a mix of tents and tables in the centre of town, farmers busy setting up their stalls in the predawn hours of a Saturday morning to sell their wares to the locals. Or perhaps you envision a big historical building like Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, filled with vendors who have been there for years. But what if you could buy fresh, local Ontario food… at the hospital? It almost seems like a match made in heaven: finding the best, freshest food in a place where people go to get well.

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This is Real Food for Real Kids - Video

A great video profiling the energy and enthusiasm Real Food for Real Kids has for changing the way kids relate to food by promoting the good things that grow in Ontario! 

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Local Food Challenge: University of Toronto Celebrates Local at Field To Fork 2013

This has become a bit of a blog cliché for people who cover food events. But I’m going to go there anyway: I love my job! This past Thursday, I spent the day at Willcocks Commons, tasting my way through booths set up by the team of chefs at the University of Toronto, each one serving their delicious interpretations of seasonal Ontario food. This year was extra special because the event also celebrated the launch of the UeaT Take the Local Food Challenge initiative, whereby students sign up and pledge to buy, eat, and request local food both on campus, and off. The program was funded with a grant from the Greenbelt Fund’s 2013 Local Food Challenge. The university’s Chef and Director of Food Services Jaco Lokker has been busy with an ambitious marketing and outreach campaign to get students educated and excited about Ontario food.

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Team Greenbelt For the Win at Ryerson Homegrown Harvest Cook-Off

This past Wednesday, five of our Greenbelters headed down to Gould Street for Ryerson University’s Homegrown Harvest Party and Cook-Off. The street was filled with farm stands, green organizations, and four teams competing in the Harvest Cook-Off. The challenge was to create and execute a recipe focusing on sustainability and using freshly grown produce from Ryerson’s own gardens. Now Ryerson is located near Yonge and Dundas, in downtown Toronto, so you can imagine this is quite a feat of urban agriculture! Our produce box came loaded with eggplants, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers, and fresh herbs. We set to work creating our Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable and Barley Salad and gave out tasting portions to the crowds. The recipe is not only delicious, but includes inexpensive staple pantry items, and can be made with whatever local, seasonal vegetables you happen to have on hand. In the end, the masses of tasters agreed, and voted the Galloping Greenbelt Gourmets the winners of the challenge. It was a great event, and we were fortunate to engage with so many students and members of the public in attendance about how Greenbelt funding contributes to supporting local food initiatives, and keeps our farmlands thriving. Way to go Team Greenbelt!

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Register for the Ontario Farm to School Challenge Webinar - September 24, 2013

Join us on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 3:30pm EDT when, in the lead-up to the October 1st launch of Ontario’s Farm to School Challenge, farm to school program leaders will come together to share their own stories of success that are set to inspire schools and help them access the tools they need to set the table for local foods.

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Food and Health Care - Does Local Fit? (Webinar)

The proposed Ontario Local Food Act encourages public institutions to support local foods.  Can a viable business case be made for local food in healthcare? Join us for a lively discussion and highlights from a recent 3-year, multi-method University of Guelph study as we explore the key issues and challenges associated with this timely topic.

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