Welcome to Food Forward

Oct
26

John Tory fully supports food platform

"I fully support the Food Forward platform and look forward to working with your organization and others in advocating a health focused food policy in the city of Toronto," stated John Tory in an endorsement of the Food Nation platform. Tory joins over 60 other Toronto candidates commiting to action if elected.

"The need for action and a proactive policy with respect to food is clear," states Tory, listing issues of food insecurity, obesity, rising costs of food, and Toronto food deserts.

"We are seeing a lot of innovative urban agriculture projects throughout the city and I am happy to continue exploring measures to provide our city with local, healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food," said Tory. He lists urban agriculture projects at Eastdale Collegiate School and the Black Creek Farm as excellent examples in Toronto, and further learning we can take from initiatives in Montreal and Oakland, California.

"I look forward to leading the city and working with the province to reduce barriers, identify opportunities for growth in urban agriculture projects, and encourage innovative strategies for a health-focused food system."

Our Food Justice Committee thanks Mr. Tory for his full support and commitment to food policy change if elected. The Food Nation platform includes policies to improve access to fresh food at 100 food assistance programs, supporting planning policies that create healthy food neighbourhoods, and City leadership in bringing 250,000 people out of poverty by 2018. 

We look forward to working with the newly elected Mayor and Council, and all those who've endorsed the platform to start making positive change and results over the next few months.

Oct
9

Olivia Chow supports Food Nation platform

Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has announced support for Food Nation and the food justice campaign's five point platform. The campaign has engaged residents and candidates in all parts of Toronto and asks politicians to reverse growing poverty and food inacessibility in Toronto.

"I believe that working with Food Forward and the Food Nation Toronto platform," said Chow in a letter, "we can help include more people and help alleviate poverty in our city."

"I support places to grow healthy food in our communities using city land, community gardens, and I have specifically committed to seeing lands around residential towers in our city invigorated with food markets and community gardens. "

She continues, highlighting from her platform:

"We have 29% child poverty in the city and I am pledging to help alleviate this hunger with 36,000 more healthy breakfasts a week."

Food Forward's Food Justice Committee thanks Ms. Chow for her support and commitments. We hope to see other leading mayoral candidates endorse Food Nation with a commitment to significant results in improving food access, jobs and capacity by 2018.

In the 2010 election, leading mayoral candidates' released platforms with solutions on food access, job creation, and urban agriculture. Many council candidates also pledged support to start food initiatives with their communities, many of which have been started since that time. In this election, dozens of Council candidates have endorsed the Food Nation platform.

Candidates and Torontonians are encouarged to get involved, review the platform, and continue to build support, by making an endorsement at: 

www.foodnationTO.com

Sep
30

Food program credit now a reality

Sustain Ontario webinar raising excellent questions and ideas, October 23

One year after passage as part of the Local Food Act, this tax credit is now available for farmers and other food producers/harvesters who donate to programs that benefit those needing access to food. It provides an incentive for producers to provide fresh and local food - it could mean less food waste and some money for farmers to cover their costs.

You may remember the tax credit from the Local Food Act debate last fall. It was developed in MPP Bob Bailey's private members bill with support from the Ontario Association of Food Banks and was adopted by the provincial government as part of the Local Food Act. 

Food Forward worked in committee with members of all parties, especially MPP Ernie Hardeman. He brought forward a motion with our amendment to expand the credit to include not only food banks, but charitable organizations that distribute food in schools, community food centres, youth or seniors programs. These programs can take advantage of the credit as long as they distribute food for free and "provide relief for the poor". This means community food programs such as those that partner with neighbourhood centres, agencies or community health centres are eligible.  Recognition of community food programs by the government and Ministry of Finance is a much broader success.

Connect with Food Forward or directly with the Ministry of Finance for more details. A full explanation is here.

Access to fresh food is sorely needed in food distribution programs such as food banks, soup and community kitchens, and other programs. This is why we are now calling for a sustainable fund for fresh food and the infrastructure to prepare it in our Food Nation platform. While the tax credit is a positive step, it should not be viewed as a substitute for deeper action. We support the need for fundamental changes to food system policy and income fairness for all, so people do not have to rely on donations for food.

Learn more:

Sep
5

Jobstarter Workshop: Financing your new food business

Free workshop September 16th! (Reserved spots for Business Community Members - please email to register or learn more: info@pushfoodforward.com)

Register here!

Small food entrepreneurs (and those thinking about the adventure) are encouraged to join us at this workshop to explore options and strategies for raising the funds to get your business going.

Successful and popular Toronto food entrepreneurs will share stories and approaches from their experience on a variety of financing strategies..You'll also have the opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs and discuss ideas, problems and collaborations.

Guests:

- Christine Manning, Founder of Manning Canning

- Lesli Gaynor, Founder of Mitzi's

Space is limited so please register today. We welcome new and returning Jobstarter participants. Find more on Jobstarter and resources here.

Thanks to Jobstarter Champion: Tangerine