Welcome to Food Forward

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

Aug
26

Talkin’ Local Food with University Health Network

Food Forward is encouraging you to participate in a great new project around hospital food. (See some of our past work on hospital food in our blogs).

The University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto is looking to the wisdom of the crowd for ideas on how to better connect local Ontario food to their hospitals. The Department of Energy & Environment, a member of Sustain Ontario, has partnered with Nutrition Services to launch a new idea crowdsourcing project, “Talkin’ Local Food with UHN,” to enable a wide conversation among the UHN community – patients, staff, visitors, and the broader public – about refreshing the hospitals’ food services and culture with a local and sustainable focus.

Three challenges have been posted on the platform to guide the conversation. These questions are designed to tap into the experience of patients, staff and creative thinkers to hear their ideas that may otherwise stop at a lunch hour chat. From a UHN blog post:

  1. “What are your soothing foods when sick or injured?  One of the challenges of serving food in Toronto hospital is the extreme diversity of food preferences and needs. Share your stories about your soothing food. Read more
  2. “How might we change the way staff think of food in patient care?  This is a biggie. We want to hear what it would take to raise the profile of hospital food, develop a food culture and help food be seen as part of recovery. Read more
  3. “How might we use local food to generate revenue? Even though we acknowledge that local food brings opportunities for cost savings (waste reduction for example) we also recognize that we will need investments to make this viable in the long term. Let’s use our collective creativity to identify ways to generate money with local food. Read more.”

Learn how you can get involved and share your ideas...