June 2012

Jun
28

Street Food@City Hall - Food Forward & Toronto Street Food Project in the news

Toronto gourmet food trucks stall – The Star

Street food advocate Darcy Higgins told reporters that food trucks co-exist with restaurants in other centres.

“I just want to sell sandwiches,” said Matthew Basile, whose Fidel Gastro’s Cuban sandwich truck doesn’t have a permanent location.

Committee votes to send Street Food Project recommendations to Director of Licensing 

T.O. streets getting food aplenty – The Sun

Darcy Higgins, the executive director of Food Forward, said they were happy to see changes being made for existing food vendors.

Councillor Josh Colle - who has been pushing for the city to address red tape surrounding food trucks - said the ongoing delay will likely mean food trucks miss out on two seasons of “prime business”.

Committee adopts broader menu for hot dog carts, delays better food truck rules – Openfile.ca

Darcy Higgins, representing the group PushFoodForward, had asked the committee to consider three recommendations for immediate action today (which would have been passed at the next council meeting in early July).

Higgins was disappointed in the committee's decision. "We hoped we could move further, obviously," he said, though he was happy for the expanded options for hot dog carts—and Toronto finally catching up to changes in the rules that Ontario made in 2007.

City not doing enough to quell our appetite for street food - National Post

“I will be operating out of a food truck within the next six months,” he vows. But Mr. Robertson tells me there is no public or private land in central Toronto zoned to permit Mr. Basile’s truck.

Darcy Higgins of the group Food Forward suggested that the city “allow refreshment vehicles and food vendors to vend temporarily in commercial parking lots for a period of up to four hours;” councillors sent that back to staff for study.

A Truckin' Good Summer: Toronto Food Trucks? Truck Yeah! - Toronto Standard

Suresh Doss: Food truck hubs in designated areas or parks can generate revenue for the city. The containers (such as the ones at Scadding Court) can be a platform for indie food entrepreneurs that don't have the money for a food truck, but want to test their food ideas.

Suresh Doss: I would like to see the City of Toronto work towards street food installations where we can consider restaurants, popups, and food trucks. 

Jun
25

Learning about Toronto's street food & changing laws

Food Forward is incredibly lucky to be partnering with a number of individuals representing the diversity of Toronto street food, including existing street food vendors, start-up food vendors and event organizers, as well as dedicated activists, a lawyer, and a planner. Together we're working with Torontonians to make sure our politicians and bureaucrats are accountable and make positive change for diverse street food in Toronto and allow new jobs to flourish on our streets. 

This Thursday, the Licensing & Standards Committee will be voting on a City report that would finally allow street food vendors to prepare a diversity of foods in the City. There are many media stories about this including this one with Darcy Higgins' and Carly Dunster's thoughts, and we'd invite you to join us at the Committee meeting to help push food further forward.

We wanted to share with you some recent work of our partners. 

Take a look at this delicious blog by Kyla Zanardi to see what we did at the Street Food Block Party, see the vendors, and hear suppportive words from City Councillors that Darcy interviewed. 

Darcy Higgins (Food Forward), Councillor Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth) and Marianne Marooney (Executive Director of the Street Food Vendors Association)

Andrea Winkler, who recently returned from viewing street food and policies in action in Los Angeles has prepared this insightful video profiling Toronto street food vendors. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as we did. Please share! 

Jun
22

Hospital food 2.0

We're pleased to share this update from our Town Hall event, Healthy Food, Healthy Living: Strengthening Local Food Connections in Healthcare.

There was great coverage in The Grid with their reporter's learnings from the event. Food Forward is following-up to build on the momentum by considering creative ways to support better food in health care, with an "Idea Potluck" on June 26th, from 5:30-6:30 downtown. It will be a facilitated conversation and brainstorming session to establish where everyone is at in their work, where we want to go, and how best to help each other get there. Contact Linda (linda@pushfoodforward.com) or Elena (elena@pushfoodforward.com) for more information and to let us know you're coming!

Thanks to Sustain Ontario for partnering and recording... check their website for Powerpoint information and a video about the Seed to Feed Project with the University Health Network and Scadding Court Community Centre.

Taking the “hospital” out of hospital food

BY: JODIE SHUPAC 

Hospital food. For some, the very term sounds like an oxymoron. But healthcare institutions in Ontario are starting to pick up some of the foodie trends that have become so pervasive in society of late.

Values like local, fresh, healthy and, of course, deliciousness are beginning to enter the hospital sphere, with Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital leading by example.

At last night’s panel discussion on strengthening local food connections in healthcare, held in a committee room at City Hall, the 20-odd attendees got the chance to, as moderator and Food Forward volunteer Linda Swanston put it, “play city councilors.”

Seated at spiraled tables and lavish leather chairs, participants listened to Heather Fletcher, Food Services Manager at St. Michael’s Hospital, as well as Franco Naccarato, program manager at the Greenbelt Fund, and Elena Hall, Green Team Member/Seed to Feed Organizer at Princess Margaret Hospital, discuss the methods and outcomes of incorporating fresh, local food into healthcare institutions, and got the opportunity to submit questions on the topic.

Here’s what I learned:

Read more: http://www.thegridto.com/city/local-news/taking-the-hospital-out-of-hospital-food/

Jun
11

Event: My bad! Learning from failure in good food work

+ Foodie Drinks East-end Edition!

Working, volunteering or interested in local, sustainable, healthy, ethical food initiatives & businesses in the City? Come learn from our panel of Toronto food innovators. We all make mistakes, but do we learn from them? How can business and non-profit programs grow facing after strumbling blocks? What challenges face our sector? Come join the discussion with folks who've had plenty of success:

- Tony Sabherwal, Owner of Magic Oven

- Grace Yogaretnam, Co-Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council

- Laura Reinsborough, Founder & Director of Not Far From The Tree

Sign-in at 7:00-7:15... Stay post-panel around 8:30 for Foodie Drinks, to mingle and learn about some initiatives and businesses in Beaches-East York and Toronto-Danforth. Join foodie Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon and others to learn more about what's happening and how to get involved. Let friends know you're coming by Tweeting with #FoodieDrinks and sharing this invitation. Always the best opportunity to connect. 

Thank you to the Big Carrot for their support of this event!

Place: Toronto Naval Club, 1910 Gerrard St. East, just south of Woodbine Station. Accessible space.

Time & Date: Tuesday, June 19, 7:00PM-10:00PM

Cost: $5 bucks for Food Forward members, $10 for guests, or $15+ to attend & become a Food Forward member! Free for Supporting Members/monthly donors. (Pay/register at the door or in advance)

Thx for the contribution - it helps put on this event and sustain our work.

Jun
5

#foodTO Video Launch & Membership Contest

We're pleased to launch this snapshot of the good food work motion in Toronto, alongwith a membership campaign & contest to grow Food Forward & our voice. This video has sprouted up thanks to Red Gecko Productions with help from some of our friends.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think, and please share this with friends. Become a member of Food Forward today!

Who should join & share? Those who care about prioritizing access to good food and good food jobs in Toronto, who want to help create an environmentally sustainable and more equitable society, while building community through food! Your membership enables our work & provides you with event discounts, great resources, and unique ways to become more involved. A donation of what you can afford keeps Food Forward sustainable. Current members can also renew or donate. 


To sweeten the deal, we're launching a membership contest as part of a drive to get more Torontonians involved. It's simple: we're asking for your help in bringing new members to Food Forward from today (June 5th) to June 22. Let us know by that date who you've referred (you can email Darcy). The member who's signed up the most Food Forward newbies will win a delicious gift basket of local & sustainable food & treats from some of the small businesses featured in our video (like Earth & City!) Good luck, and let us know if you have any questions!