TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2012) - More than half of Toronto residents live in "Food Deserts," neighbourhoods that do not have access to good quality and affordable food. On World Food Day, October 16, 2012, Toronto's community leaders are coming together at the Daniels Spectrum to celebrate a cross sector approach to achieving a sustainable local food system with good food for all.
Films that Move and Food Forward have partnered with the Centre for Social Innovation to raise awareness and action on the challenges with hunger and the way we grow, buy and learn about the food we eat.
"Many people think of hunger as a problem exclusive to other countries, but as we know, it's everywhere. Right here in Toronto, last year alone, there were a million visits to food banks," says UN World Food Programme National Ambassador Against Hunger George Stroumboulopoulos. "World Food Day helps us recognize the great work currently being done in schools, businesses and communities. It also reminds us that we have a long way to go, and need an integrated approach both locally and globally to address this widespread challenge."
World Food Day Toronto is a free event open to the public. Pay what you can donations will be accepted at the door to support Regent Park food initiatives and a Toronto training program for food entrepreneurs.
Speakers will chat briefly about their work, then join workshop sessions where attendees can learn more and share ideas. Speakers include David Reycraft, Regent Park Food Partnership and Dixon Hall; Chef Michael Stadtlander, Eigensinn Farm/Soupstock, Erin Shapero, Environmental Defence; Mark Cutrara, Cowbell; Seana Irvine, Evergreen; Suresh Doss, Food Truck Eats; Nick Saul, Cmmunity Food Centres Canada; Laura Rainsborough, Not Far from the Tree; Tzazna Miranda-Leal, Justicia for Migrant Workers.
Films That Move is a free social change film series that brings together people from across the sectors to collaborate in their communities.
Food Forward is a registered non-profit organization in Toronto that provides a people's voice for a better food system.
Recognizes an individual whose recent learning and understanding on food policy has led him/her to community organizing or standing up for food justice or good food policy at institutional, municipal, or other levels.
Carly Dunster is a lawyer like no other.
Putting her foot down one day and declaring herself a food lawyer took some guts. It was probably something she could have tookto market for corporations and get moving, but because of her passion for good food, she is here for all of us.
She has supported the little guys, the Street Food Vendors Association, for example, when hot dog sellers were being kicked out of their spots by the City. She helped make the Toronto Underground Market (TUM) happen with Hassel, and supported other members of ours.
She is always keen on doing more for food justice, but in supporting who she has, she has already taken a lead in this work.
Carly said of TUM, "It was that experience that opened my eyes to just how many individuals and organizations are clamouring to develop new and innovative ways to feed their communities, combat hunger, and shorten the distance between farm and plate. They have creative, dynamic ideas, and need to know how to work within the existing food legislation framework to execute those ideas."
And so in recognizing the political barriers, she has chosen to support those doing needed work to make bureaucracies navigable, and to change policies, like she is doing with the Toronto Street Food Project.
One of our Committee members called her his hero.
You can learn more about her work at Carly Dunster Law.
Food Forward Awards 2012
The Food Forward Awards celebrate outstanding contributions – among our volunteers, professionals, projects, and businesses – focused on food that is healthy, local, sustainable, ethically produced, and accessible for all. As the people’s voice for a better food system, we are asking you to help us identify new efforts and results that are especially notable for community recognition. Please see the call for nominations for our 2012 awards:
Nominations are invited in the following categories:
Breakout Food Activist Award – Recognizes an individual whose recent learning and understanding on food policy has led him/her to community organizing or standing up for food justice or good food policy at institutional, municipal, or other levels.
Spicy New Venture Award – For 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 job expansion in one or more of Toronto neighbourhoods.
Sweet New Initiative Award – For 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 Toronto neighbourhoods or communities.
Food Forward Outstanding Member Award – Recognizes the commitment and contributions of a Food Forward individual member towards our mission, by supporting the design and implementation of our projects, development, capacity, and/or outreach. Also considers independent work the individual has contributed to related good food projects or policies through education, advocacy, and making connections.
Criteria & Qualifications
Where applicable, we will be looking for good food work that is practical, visionary, and innovative.
We are considering work that puts a focus on food justice and/or good food (healthy, local, sustainable, ethically produced, and accessible for all). We also recognize contribution of efforts to good food jobs and economic development in Toronto.
Work should have begun or significantly carried out in the last two years.
We know that good food work and non-profit/for-profit lines are blurring across lines of innovation, so please apply to the category you feel your nominee fits best.
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.
Eric Wood (Fabarnak, Hawthorne Food and Drink), Catherine Mah (Food Policy Research Initiative CAMH, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto), Vanessa Ling Yu (Food Forward, Bathurst-Finch Network Food Action Team), Suresh Doss (Spotlight Toronto, Ontario Food Trucks), Tzazná Miranda Leal (Justicia for Migrant Workers), Elizabeth Fraser (The Stop, Community Food Centres Canada)
Awards will be presented at the event, Pushing Forward: The 2012 Food Forward Awards and Second Anniversary Party, in Toronto on August 11. Prizes for awardees are to be confirmed. They’ll be delicious, practical, and include positive media/social media coverage for awardees.
Tell us briefly about the person or project and how they’ve been successful in their good food work, reflecting the specific and general awards criteria outlined above.
Deadline is by the end of the day, Friday, July 27, 2012.
Email this submission to: email@example.com
Submission -Pushing Forward: The 2012 Food Forward Awards
Your name and email/phone contact:
Description of nominee (up to 250 words):
Website/social media and email/phone contact for nominee:
Green Thumbs Growing Kids hosted an event June 19th to launch their new provincial campaign, Imagine a Garden in Every School. The campaign aims to create broader community support and unite engaged communities for school food gardens “to share resources, ideas and experience, to work together on advocacy, and to make it easier for people across Ontario to start and maintain school food gardens.”
Dr. Bondar speaks to the crowd - by Orla Hegarty
The event itself featured Dr. Roberta Bondar as the keynote speaker. Dr. Bondar engaged the entire student population of Rose Avenue Public School at an assembly by telling jokes and making the connection between her career as the first neurologist in space and her scientific research into the importance of environmental stewardship. The event was attended by Minister of Education, Hon. Laurel Broten and by members of Manulife Financial who pledged $10 000 to creating school gardens. Food Forward, a supporter of this campaign, also had a number of members in attendance.
The assembly was followed by a colloquium featuring speakers from a variety of sectors in the broader food community, including David Crichton (Principal, Rose Avenue Public School), Richard Christie (Senior Manager, Sustainability Office, Toronto District School Board), Sunday Harrison (Director and Founder, Green Thumbs Growing Kids), Meredith Hayes (Schools Program and Student Nutrition Senior Manager, FoodShare), Susan Turner (Community Mission Specialist, Heart and Stroke Foundation), Dr. Roberta Bondar (The Roberta Bondar Foundation), Sarah Vogelzang (Nutrition Promotion Consultant, Toronto Public Health), and Ravenna Nuaimy-Barker (Director, Sustain Ontario).
Each speaker, in their own way, touched on the importance of active learning outside of the classroom and in teaching children about where their food comes from and how to grow it. They stressed that garden programming in schools is the best way to educate about healthy foods, which all children have the right to. In moving forward Dr. Bondar highlighted a report by the Working Group on Environmental Education of which she is a part, entitled, Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future. The report is a key policy tool to help incorporate garden programming in Ontario schools. Ravenna Nuaimy-Barker highlighted work being done by the Children and Youth Food Network as part of an initiative of a group of organizations, including Sustain Ontario and FoodShare, providing moral support and inspiration and as a way to connect, share, and move forward. We should continue to support these two mechanisms towards creating gardens in schools across Ontario.
Educational school garden at the Winchester Street School - by Orla Hegarty
The event really highlighted all of the incredible work being done by Green Thumbs Growing Kids and the support that can be generated within the schools, the surrounding communities, and the broader good food community. There were certainly teachers and principals present at this event who were inspired by the stories they heard and who would love to help facilitate the expansion of this type of programming, not only in Toronto but across Ontario as well. Community support is instrumental in the creation and maintenance of school gardens. If you are interested in supporting this campaign find out if there is a school garden in your neighbourhood that you can help to support!
The excitement displayed by the Rose Avenue P.S. EcoTeam and the student Garden Researchers group was contagious and they were able to prove that children will take great pride in their garden if those resources are made available to them. With the support that Green Thumbs is receiving from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and all of these supporting organizations, the goal of this campaign will hopefully be realized!
Visit http://www.kidsgrowing.ca for more information on Green Thumbs Growing Kids and their campaign.
Jessica Reeve is presently working as the Ward Organizing Coordinator for Food Forward