community food projects

Feb
13

Upcoming food events

Check our TO Food Events Hub link above for information on what's coming up, including events with Building Roots and Food Nation!

Skate & Cider with Food Nation

At Skate and Cider, we'll be discussing a food justice vision for Toronto and sharing the Food Nation platform around a warm camp fire.

Date: February 21, 2015 Time: 2-4pm

Location: Duffering Grove Park (south of Bloor on Dufferin)

Feed Your Advocacy with Building Roots 

Help Create Places to Grow, Cook, Buy, and Share Healthy Food 

Date: February 23, 2015 Time: 6:30 - 8:00pm

Location: 35 Fairview Mall Drive, Toronto Public Library Room 1, First Floor

 

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:

Jun
2

Exciting news in Toronto: urban agriculture funded by developers

Our Building Roots team took particular notice of a garden in Ward 22 with notice from Councillor Josh Matlow.

Why?

Because the City passed a motion making the community garden in Oriole Park the first community infrastructure project we've heard of to use Section 37 for food.

It is also the ward's first community garden, helping to fulfill the City's policy passed a decade ago for a public garden in every ward.

When we spoke to Josh he said that asking city councillors to use Section 37 it was a way to implement good food in new and established developments and parks. Section 37 is funding provided as part of the development process to projects that provide community benefits. See our developing Building Roots Toolkit for more info and how to do this yourself.

Oriole Park's community garden being built in May

Councilor Matlow met with residents in Brentwood Towers, Deer Park and Chaplin Estates residents to determine how they wanted to see Section 37 funds used. The majority voted for a community garden.  Community town hall meetings also helped to carefully determine the best use of the money for the residents.

This is an excellent example of local decision-making and budgeting - and the people wanted food!

The development at 137, 147 and 35 Merton Street fully funded Section 37, and therefore the garden. Now that Section 37 for the park is allocated there will be a committee of residents who will be part of the design, implementation and maintenance of the community garden.

Perhaps local businesses will donate equipment and other raw materials, such as soil, seedlings and even labour.

We look forward to hearing more about Oriole Park and how the process will create a space that can be used by everyone.

The fact that Section 37 funds were used to create this urban agriculture initiative is a tangible example to city Councillors, planners and developers that urban agriculture and related community and commercial food infrastructure can be accomplished when we all work together.

This is exactly what Building Roots is working to make happen across Toronto. Contact us for support in making this happen in your neighbourhood.

- Lisa Kates, Building Roots consultant

Jan
21

Food Jobs Forward: Growing your career and community

A Jobstarter event hosted by Food Forward:


Looking for opportunities to make a difference through community food security or sustainable food systems? Having trouble finding a job? Want to find non-traditional opportunities in food, community, health, equity and business...while networking and growing your skillset?


This mini-conference on good food work will provide opportunities to learn how to build sustainable food systems and community food security ithrough your career; learn important skills such as grant writing; gain ideas and tips for the food job search and career development; and learn from those who've made a go at it...

 

Date/Time:

Saturday, February 8th: 11:30 am - 5:00 pm


Location:

Food Forward Centre: 2 Homewood Avenue, Toronto

(just north of Carlton, between Jarvis and Sherbourne)


Presenters include:


Dave Kranenburg. Currently works for CSI as their community programs facilitator. Dave used to run a national program coordinating student food banks across multiple campuses. A common thread of Dave’s work is organising people to increase access to healthy food for all.


Emma Point: Emma is the Community and Partnership Coordinator at TAS, an innovative real estate development company based in Toronto. Emmas role is to coordinate the partnerships and community projects in TASs neighbourhoods, many of which focus on urban agriculture. She is also helping to plan the companys inclusion of food growing space for homeowners in all future developments. 


Ratsamy Pathammavong: Ratsamy leads the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ontario, Diversity department with over a decade of experience development and implementing health promotion programs and policies. Her current role focuses on health equity, staff and volunteer diversity and inclusion, and leading fund development initiatives focused on improving the health of ethno-racial and aboriginal communities.


Also:


- Q&A, Discussions with a critical look at the future of community food work, and more...


- Lunch and refreshments provided


Registration:


Cost - $45


or $30 for Food Forward CSA members/monthly contributors


Only 20 spots available!

Register now at: http://pushfoodforward.nationbuilder.com/member


Funds support the new Food Forward Centre.

 

Accessibility:


Our centre is wheelchair accessible. Contact with any questions info@pushfoodforward.com

Subsidies may be available from neighbourhood community agencies, career centres, or for students, from your faculty.

Lunch will be vegan-friendly.


Thanks to support from the Ontario Natural Food Co-op!