Year Round Local Food, Guelph $44,820
The University of Guelph’s Hospitality Services (UGHS) team created year-round access to local produce on campus by building a self-sustaining food processing facility. The necessary equipment was installed and staff training in safe food handling was completed. Next steps include testing carrots, potatoes, and onions with the new equipment, confirming pricing with produce suppliers, and putting the new production schedule in place. For more on this project check out this story that appeared inEdible Toronto.
Identify, Source and Promote Ontario Food, Vaughn $49,429
Food distributor SKOR Foodservice made changes to their inventory database to identify Ontario products and quickly switched 20 of the 100 products they identified as non-local to local. SKOR sales representatives were trained in selling Ontario products and a protein category manager increased sales by adding eight pork product SKUs. A marketing program implemented by SKOR included revising their website to focus on Ontario food and growers, developing and promoting Ontario recipes, making Ontario produce the theme for SKOR’s annual Food Show, and advertising in Ontario Restaurant News.
Increasing Access to Ontario Food, Lindsay $35,000
Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) worked towards increasing patient satisfaction and meal consumption with a menu full of fresh and local products. An evaluation of their seven-day patient menu identified five non-local menu items that represented an opportunity to switch to local. RMH worked with distributors Sysco and Gordon Food Service to source new ingredients, noting that Ontario meat and vegetables were less expensive, cost neutral, or only slightly more expensive than the non-local ingredients they were replacing.
Real Food for Hospitals, Toronto $52,985
Real Food for Real Kids (RFRK) took their experience in providing local, healthy meals for daycares and adapting wholesale capabilities to broaden their offerings to include hospitals and long-term care facilities. RFRK consulted with several relevant broader public sector institutions and identified the necessary equipment to fulfil special dietary menus. The purchase of a blender/mixer allowed for on-site preparation of purees, condiments, and baked goods featuring local ingredients. A pouch sealer will ensure food stays fresh and can be safely divided into individual proportions with the contents and usage date clearly labeled thanks to a new printer. The new wholesale model of cooking, packaging, storing, and distributing individual and bulk portions will enable RFRK to customize their offerings and reach new BPS institutions.
Outstanding Ontario Hospital Food, Ottawa $35,900
Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) partnered with food manufacturer Healthcare Foodservices (HFS) to raise patient satisfaction by increasing the amount of local food in their restaurant-style foodservice model. QCH performed its own Ontario food purchases audit and have started to change menu offerings by introducing two new soups, one sauce, and an all-Ontario fruit smoothie.
Greenhouse Vegetables for the Public Sector, Leamington $50,170
The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) are helping the public sector foodservice industry understand that obtaining local produce is feasible beyond the harvest season. This specific project focused on educating key stakeholders on local produce and the strengths of local growers, such as year-round availability and food safety. New relationships with public institutions, including hospitals and universities, have been established with the hopes of future partnerships. The OGVG are currently working on securing volume commitments from corporate foodservice operators.
Erie Innovation and Commercialization: Growing Access to the Broader Public Sector Marketplace, Simcoe $40,450
As an operating group under the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Erie Innovation helped broader public sector institutions in the South Central Ontario Region (SCOR) increase their Ontario food purchases. A phone and online survey of 85 BPS institutions led Erie Innovation to conclude that focus should be on long-term care facilities, which have an annual estimated food spend of $13.1 million. Erie Innovation identified that a local food hub would better enable aggregation of locally grown products to serve BPS institutions in the SCOR. A business plan for the hub was developed, which included market opportunities and an assessment of different approaches for procurement and distribution.
More Ontario Food for Grey Bruce Public Institutions, Owen Sound $36,150
Grey Bruce Public Health and Foodlink Grey Bruce assessed the foodservice departments in their partner institutions, including local school boards and long-term care facilities. The assessment identified many misconceptions, including the belief that local food is costly, more work, not readily available, and requires burdensome inspections. Identifying these barriers assisted Grey Bruce Public Health and Foodlink Grey Bruce in dispelling some of the myths about local food as well as linking the increasing interest in healthy eating to fresh, local food. A tool was also developed to aid partner institutions in tracking local food purchases.
Creating a Regional Distribution Hub, Ottawa $54,847
Just Food Ottawa initiated a long-term plan to develop a food hub by building by-ins of key stakeholders in the BPS foodservice value chain. The results of a survey administered by Just Food to more than 1,200 farmers and buyers, as well as face-to-face meetings and background research will aid in developing the logistics of the centralized local food hub.
Going Local, Toronto $65,000
Aramark developed and provided Ontario employees with a Purchasing Guide to Buying Locally and Sustainably, which explained how to track local food, convert non-local to local, revamp menus to focus on local ingredients, and promote local sources. Farm tours and the creation of 30 farm profiles helped strengthen the relationship between Aramark’s chefs and producers. Aramark increased the visibility of local food and educated the public on the benefits of buying local by holding a series of promotional campaigns and local food day events at universities, colleges, and other public institutions. Other activities included a “building a better lasagna” campaign, recipe development, staff training, creating RFPs with local food emphasis, and the flagging of local products in their purchasing system for easy identification.