Food Forward Awards


5 Year Update: #FoodIdol winners and more

Hello Food Forward Friends,

We hope you’re enjoying the final weeks of summer and the bounty of seasonal produce that is flooding the Farmer’s Markets throughout this vibrant city. 

We're getting in touch to let you know about upcoming Food Forward milestones and to share with you some of the latest news items that are worth celebrating!

Sweet Successes!

  • Food Forward’s Building Roots initiative was named one of 10 Agents of Change by the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) in February to support its growth into a social venture.
  • Hosted about 50 memorable events from Etobicoke to Malvern, helping to deepen and connect the food movement across the City
  • Improved the Local Food Act and municipal food policy, including street food and local food, and showing how you Can make change at City Hall
  • Set an agenda for food justice in the City supported by our Mayor and endorsed by thousands of Torontonians

Congratulations to the Food Idol Award Winners


On Wednesday August 26th, Food Forward presented their annual Food Idol Award’s at the #2hot4kitchen – Woman’s Food System and Food Idol Awards and Community Festival in Regent Park. 

For information on the winners of the #2Hot4Kitchen Women's Foods System Awards, keep an eye on:

We would also like to recognize volunteers, partners, and community members that work every day in Toronto building and creating health food communities that are inclusive, diverse, ethical, local, and resilient.

Food Forward Outstanding Member – Patrick Tohill

For over a year Patrick has stepped in, rolled up his sleeves, and put his communication and advocacy experience to work for good food change. He has helped build our positive connections, strengthened our communications, and advanced our Food Nation campaign. Thank-you Patrick! @Patrick_Tohill

Toronto Food Champion – Moorthi Senaratne 

Moorthi has ensured hundreds of thousands of Torontonians have access to fresh, affordable and culturally diverse food. His great success and invaluable contributions stem from his deep understanding of the power of food as a tool for community development and of the long-term impacts of supporting local and global producers. @FoodShareTO

Toronto Food Champion – Antonio Andrew 

Antonio is celebrated for his long-term commitment to food democracy, intersecting community and business, and - quote-unquote - “doing the right thing.” He has most definitely done the right thing by the initiatives he’s taken part in, from the innovative Riverdale Food Working Group to making lower-profit food markets viable. The Market at Eastview would not be viable or able to donate unsold produce to their food bank without his intelligence and strategy skills. @riverdalefood

Lifetime Achievement Award – Sang Kim

Real life stories are the ingredients that make Sang’s recipe for change so successful. One of Food Forward’s very few Honourary Lifetime Members, Sang is passionate about kids and food, and he is always ready to help the next generation learn and grow (and cook!).  His work is dedicated to local and global communities, ranging from kid-focused Sushi Making For the Soul to teenage-mother focused One Pot Many Stories. Sang has always supported Food Forward, providing guidance for our advocacy and support for our events, and is always there to speak and encourage. @koreanjohnsmith

Lifetime Achievement Award – Sunday Harrison

For many years, Sunday's has advanced the growing food and justice initiative in Toronto, raising key issues of equity, race and diversity before others would. From starting Green Thumbs Growing Kids in 1999 to using gardening to transform schools to introducing a program for youth to develop life skills and sell food, Sunday has been an active, dedicated and encouraging presence in Toronto - and will continue to be so for years to come. @kidsgrowing


Upcoming Events

“Food is a Human Right” presented by Black Creek Food Justice Action Network 


Toronto Food Networks Summit

Presented by Food Forward, North Toronto Local Immigration Partnership, and Flemingdon Health Centre

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Thursday September 17th 9am-4pm

Register HERE for Free! 
*We encourage anyone involved in a neighbourhood food network to sign up!


Food Secure Canada is making food an election issue! – Eat, Think, Vote

The government elected in the October 2015 Federal Election should work with others to ensure that the right to food becomes a reality for Canadians who are food insecure: Let’s Make Food Matter to our Politicians! Food Forward recently called for action on this agenda in the federal election at #2Hot4Kitchen in Regent Park. Join us in the Eat Think Vote Movement Now!

Did you know that Food Forward has our own Food Nation campaign, which is municipally focused, and has overlap with the Eat Think Vote platform, check it out here and sign on if you haven’t already!

Volunteer with us!

As Food Forward grows and distributes our efforts, there are key roles we need to fill to keep the organization going and growing, as an active grassroots group. If you’re interested in volunteering, especially in a key Membership or Fundraising role, please email us at with the word VOLUNTEER in the subject line and brief description of your interests in food and related organizational skills. 

Thank you,

The Food Forward Team!


- Stephanie Conroy, Internal Communications Manager


Food Idol nominations open

Calling all food activistas! 

Know someone who’s put their blood, sweat, and tears into making this city a better place - through food? Don’t keep them a secret...Nominate your local food hero for this year’s Food Idol Awards!

Food Forward's Food Idol Awards celebrate outstanding contributions by food activists and activators. The awards bring the Food Forward community together to name and thank the Food Idols among us - our above-and-beyond volunteers, trail-blazing Toronto community members, innovative projects, and businesses that are getting it right. 

Food Idols represent any age, background and activity area. Each one of them is focused on healthy food and communities that are inclusive, diverse, ethical, local, and resilient. 

Food Forward is the place where Torontonians meet to create a better City through food. Help us identify and celebrate new efforts that make this city better! 

Nominate a Food Idol you know is especially deserving of community recognition.

This year's Food Idol winners will be announced and celebrated along with Food Forward's 5th Anniversary at #2Hot4Kitchen, in collaboration with caterToronto. This event is free!

2015 Food Idol Award Categories

Breakout Food Activist – This activist has a desire for action to change food policy that’s led him/her to community organizing or standing up for food justice/good food policy change within business, social institutions, or government.

Food Forward Outstanding Member – A committed Food Forward member whose contributions further our mission, through initiatives, development, capacity, and/or outreach. Also considers independent work this person has contributed to the good food movement (e.g. projects or policies) through education, advocacy, and connecting.

Toronto Food Champion – A committed city community member who has worked hard to advance a better Toronto through good food, food justice, and/or community food security in our neighbourhoods or communities. Their work may have been as a volunteer or employee of an organization, or through their own leadership efforts.

Spicy New Venture Award – Recognizes a food-related business or entrepreneur whose recent work has led to the development of a delicious venture contributing significantly to increase good food, food justice, and/or good food jobs expansion in one or more Toronto neighbourhoods.

Sweet New Initiative Award – Recognizes an organization, group, or partnership whose recent work has led to the development of an initiative contributing significantly to increase good food, food justice, and/or community food security in one or more Toronto neighbourhoods.

Criteria & Qualifications

The selection committee will be looking for good food work that is practical, visionary, and innovative.

We consider work focused on food and communities that are inclusive, diverse, ethical, local, and resilient. We also recognize contribution of efforts to good food jobs and community economic development in Toronto.

As we aim to recognize and celebrate new leadership, work on the initiative should have begun or significantly carried out in the last two years.

Nominators should not nominate themselves or a project they have had a significant role in organizing. Individuals may make more than one nomination and in any category. Decisions of the committee will be final.

Time to Nominate!

Nominate a Food Idol you know is especially deserving of community recognition! Tell us briefly about this person: how have they succeeded in their good food work? 

Reflect on the awards criteria outlined above, and briefly answer the points below.

Deadline: end of day, August 7, 2015

Email your submission to:

Please include the name of the award and nominee in the subject line, and: 

- Your name and email/phone contact

- Name of nominee and email/phone contact

- What inspired the nominee to do this work? (max. 100 words)

- In what two ways has this person demonstrated a commitment to good food, food justice, community food security, or good food jobs? (max. 100 words)

- What’s the single best example of the impact of this project/business/person? (max. 100 words)

- Website/social media and email/phone contact for nominee

Click here for 2014's Food Idols



Announcing the 2014 Food Idol Award winners!

Help us share and congratulate the 2014 #FoodIdol Winners online!

At Food Forward Turns Four, entrepreneurs Natalia “Cookie” Martinez, Evis Chirowamhangu, Jon Woodside and Carlos Flores shared this year’s Food Idol award for Breakout Food Activist. This award recognizes an individual whose action to change food policy has led him/her to stand up for food justice and good food policy change. This year’s award winners are small food businesses and food vendors whose joint presentation to City Council was part of a pivotal campaign to the achievement of Toronto’s new street food regulations.


The Sweet New Initiative award was presented to Young Somali Growers, an urban agriculture program developed this year by the Somali Immigrant Aid Organization (SIAO). Led by Tare Egbedi, this youth driven program established a community garden - the Weston King Neighbourhood Center’s Garden - in a disused parking lot, with only a shoestring budget, volunteer labour and mostly donated tools and supplies.


Michelle German was honoured as a Food Forward Honourary Lifetime Member, for her years of dedication and commitment to good food advocacy. A long-time food advocate at City Hall, German has served in the past as a board member at Food Forward and is outgoing chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. 


Ursula Conlon was given the Food Forward Outstanding Member Award. The pair was recognized for their instrumental role in establishing the Food Action Hub, as well as their individual contributions towards advancing Food Forward’s mission to create a better city through food.

Congraulations and THANK YOU to all of Toronto's food actionists!

Photos by Pat Anderson


Food Forward Turns Four!

An evening to visit our new Food Action Hub (2 Homewood Avenue at Carlton St.) and try some of TO's best new movable food + drink while you hang out with your favourite foodies.

Tickets Here

Food + Drink

Winners announced of the 2014 #FoodIdol Awards VOTE HERE!

  • Breakout Food Activist
  • Spicy New Venture
  • Sweet New Initiative
  • Food Forward Outstanding Member

Anniversary Membership Discounts!

 Tickets Here 

Grab tickets early - we have a modest sized place & patio so the party may sell out. Tweet #FFTurns4.