City budget

Jan
18

Toronto won! From our newsletter...

I wasn't expecting to be writing you this morning, but good news deserves a quick note!

As you may have heard, Toronto City Council passed its budget, and in the process, reversed a significant number of proposed cuts to City programs.  Not just yesterday, but time after time over the last several months of the Core Service Review, funding and programs that were mulled and planned for cuts were saved.  These included food security related programs like urban agriculture, the Toronto Environment Office, neighbourhood Environment Days, community grants, student nutrition, small business development and festivals, the Riverdale Farm and fees at farmer's markets.  Yesterday, led by good food-friendly Councillors Colle, McMahon, Mihevc and others, additional funding was also restored to the Toronto Environment Office and Live Green Toronto community animators, as well as food security-related transit, child care and youth programs.

To think we've been in meetings and writing letters opposing these cuts since last summer... reviewing the above list shows the strength Torontonians have when we get involved and work together with neighbours and like-minded organizations. Thank you to all our members, supporters and partners for all the work you have done to keep Toronto healthy, compassionate and green.  I was lucky enough to share this congratulation on food security and related wins on CP24 last night.

Now is the right time to work on a positive and propositional agenda that builds a City with good food jobs and community food access, allowing ventures to flourish and a sustainable City to be revealed in every neighbourhood.
If you haven't joined us, please become a member, make a one-time or monthly donation, and get involved as we organize in wards throughout the City to make this vision possible.  It will certainly take good ideas, modest resources and more fun work! 

- Darcy Higgins, Executive Director

"So let us be loving, hopefuly and optimistic. And we''ll change the world." - Jack Layton

Click here to share this note with friends online

Sep
23

Media Advisory: City Hall picnic Monday to oppose cuts

Saturday, September 23, 2011

Toronto food advocacy group, Food Forward, is inviting Torontonians to join outside City Hall for a picnic during lunch break of Monday's Budget Council meeting to share a healthy meal and chalk their vision of the City, preceding larger evening rallies.

"Cuts take a bite out of the core of suburban and downtown Toronto, and we're meeting to share that message," said Darcy Higgins, Executive Director of Food Forward.  "Reducing valuable services like community hubs, grants, food and health programs across the board will hurt Toronto's most vulnerable the hardest.  A better budget is possible."

Ward 18 Councillor Ana Bailao will be presenting a petition at Council Monday morning that asksit to stop cuts to environmental and food programs and to work more closely with Toronto residents to enhance community use of parks.  Programs such as Live Green Toronto are at risk, while users of Dufferin Grove and other parks have faced barriers in operating community food programs in public places.

"City services provided by the Toronto Environment Office give Torontonians the ability to learn food growing skills in their neighbourhoods and build healthier, stronger communities," said Abra Snider, General Manager of Fresh City Farms, a new business that grows food in the City.

City Councillors of all stripes have already come out against cuts.  Councillor Josh Matlow recently said in a statement, "I will not support reducing the work done by the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund which, in many cases, have saved the City significant money while contributing to protecting our natural environment and public health."

 

Details: Nathan Phillips Square, 12:30-2:00PM, Monday, September 26

Contact: Darcy Higgins, 416-459-9975

darcy@pushfoodforward.com

@pushFoodForward

Sep
16

Act now: save our food programs

We now know that momentum and public opinion in Toronto is against the deep cuts proposed to our health, social, infrastructure and environmental services and grants.  Hundreds of Torontonians attended a meeting at Dufferin Grove Park to pen the joint Toronto Declaration.  It includes support for food programs, environmental programs and farmer's markets.

Councillors on the fence can we swayed to vote against cuts to food and related programs that make our City a healthier and more prosperous place to live.  Cuts to the Riverdale Farm, Toronto Urban farm, Toronto Environment Office and community grants as recommended by the City Manager are not on our agenda.  Please call or e-mail Councillors today to let them know that scrapping these programs hurts the most vulnerable Torontonians, job creation and our environment, and that our city can do better.  You can still sign our petition before we present it to Council.

In a time when municipal support for food programs like urban agriculture is increasing throughout the world, and the movement explodes in Toronto, we need more City support, not less.  Please spread the word online and ask your friends to call or write too.  Join our political picnic against the cuts at City Council's lunch break September 26.  See our TO Events Hub (above) for more!

Aug
30

Our Café in the Park

Food Forward has been supporting the community food connections to help get a unique project off the ground in St. James Town.  Our member and cafe organizer, Rebecca blogged about its launch event, intended to outreach and build further support.  Our Education Intern Caitlin Greenham and Executive Director, Darcy Higgins spoke at the event on engaging in the municipal budget and provincial election.  Partnerships made this happen, with resident support along with organizations such as Low Income Families Together (LIFT), Toronto Green Community and many neighbourhood organizations.  More photos will be shared on our Facebook group.

Below is from Rebecca's blog, The First Day:

 
While I haven’t been writing, I haven’t given in to despair. I have been busy working on a project to engage people to enjoy and advocate for for healthy affordable food. Our plan is to establish a co- operative community café where people from many economic and cultural groups can talk, organize, eat, drink, cook, listen to music, and join in growing and preparing food and buying affordable organic food through a food buying club.
 
Through the amazing connection-making powers of Nancy and Jo, and many others, we have built a strong network of people and organizations who are helping make this project happen (we’re still looking for more – if you’re interested!) On Friday August 19, we held the first trial run of the community café, and it was a fantastic success! 
While we work now on securing funds and a permanent space, we're also looking forward to the next café in the park, on September 23!

Thank you to Jeffrey Chan for the fantastic photos! http://www.snapclickpixel.com/