The Ontario Farm to School Challenge, Toronto $54,000
FoodShare Toronto and their partners engaged schools and school boards in a challenge to increase their local food purchases. The participating boards and schools were provided with online tools, guides, and webinars to assist them, and they hosted local food events across the province to bring together local farmers and buyers. FoodShare launched their Farm to School Challenge on Ontariofresh.ca, and undertook promotion to more than 500 schools, administrators, and school board officials across Ontario. After successfully completing the first round, the project partners decided to follow up with two more rounds in the spring and fall of 2013.
Eat Local, Cook Global $75,000
Compass Group Canada built on their previous success by developing a marketing strategy to educate and motivate the consumer to increase their purchase of local menu items. Compass produced and distributed entrance communication stands to more than 40 locations across Ontario in order to raise awareness and to promote sustainability and wellness. Compass also developed and executed an Eat Local 4 Seasons campaign that used seasonally relevant recipes and menu items. Finally, Compass created a marketing kit to promote local food awareness, and developed internationally-based cuisine using local ingredients.
Building a Better Menu, Toronto $74,987
Aramark Canada Ltd. provides foodservices to approximately 300 broader public sector institutions across the province. Through this project Aramark developed and disseminated a booklet of 24 new locally-based recipes for healthcare and higher education facilities, with additional recipes in development when the project ended. They also launched a Who’s Your Farmer promotional campaign profiling specific farms in Ontario. Working with new supplier partners, Aramark Canada also developed a new signature local beef burger and a local paneer recipe.
Promote Ontario Foods , Thunder Bay $99,233
This project took the first step in bridging the gap between public sector purchasers, the agricultural community, and others in the food value chain in the Thunder Bay area. After a series of interviews with public institutions and producers, the City identified specific barriers to local food procurement in the broader public sector. One of these was the challenge of identifying and tracking local food purchases. A tool was developed to identify the amount of local food currently being purchased, providing a baseline that will allow them to track the amount of purchases over the course of the next year.
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.