Whoever said sourcing local food in Ontario’s north was a challenge was not kidding. When you live in a place where the growing season is a mere four months long, finding ways to bring more Ontario food to patient menus can be tricky. Under the direction of Felicia (Felix) Blasky, the five facilities that make up Riverside Health Care Facilities used their Local Food Challenge grant to make it happen by increasing their use of local proteins through partnerships with Rainy River Meats, Sunrise Meats, and Rainy River District Regional Abattoir. By developing products such as sausages and meatballs made with local beef and pork, these partners were able to provide Riverside with innovative products that suit the needs of seniors in their care. By increasing their purchases of local proteins, and building strong collaborative partnerships with local producers, Riverside’s local food purchases in 2013 surpassed $45,000.
What They Told Us: “The Local Food Challenge was an exciting opportunity to build new partnerships. Our suppliers have been very happy to accommodate the unique needs of our residents and this willingness has contributed so much to our success.” - Felix Blasky, Manager of Food Services, Riverside Health Care Facilities