Learn more about food access in Toronto, Food Nation and how Torontonians are working with Food Forward to change policy and allow for good food. With Food Forward's Darcy Higgins on The Green Majority
"Now that we have a new Council - we worked during the last election to put a new agenda forward, we had a lot of support with that - and now it's about implementing those pieces step by step."
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"I fully support the Food Forward platform and look forward to working with your organization and others in advocating a health focused food policy in the city of Toronto," stated John Tory in an endorsement of the Food Nation platform. Tory joins over 60 other Toronto candidates commiting to action if elected.
"The need for action and a proactive policy with respect to food is clear," states Tory, listing issues of food insecurity, obesity, rising costs of food, and Toronto food deserts.
"We are seeing a lot of innovative urban agriculture projects throughout the city and I am happy to continue exploring measures to provide our city with local, healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food," said Tory. He lists urban agriculture projects at Eastdale Collegiate School and the Black Creek Farm as excellent examples in Toronto, and further learning we can take from initiatives in Montreal and Oakland, California.
"I look forward to leading the city and working with the province to reduce barriers, identify opportunities for growth in urban agriculture projects, and encourage innovative strategies for a health-focused food system."
Our Food Justice Committee thanks Mr. Tory for his full support and commitment to food policy change if elected. The Food Nation platform includes policies to improve access to fresh food at 100 food assistance programs, supporting planning policies that create healthy food neighbourhoods, and City leadership in bringing 250,000 people out of poverty by 2018.
We look forward to working with the newly elected Mayor and Council, and all those who've endorsed the platform to start making positive change and results over the next few months.
Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has announced support for Food Nation and the food justice campaign's five point platform. The campaign has engaged residents and candidates in all parts of Toronto and asks politicians to reverse growing poverty and food inacessibility in Toronto.
"I believe that working with Food Forward and the Food Nation Toronto platform," said Chow in a letter, "we can help include more people and help alleviate poverty in our city."
"I support places to grow healthy food in our communities using city land, community gardens, and I have specifically committed to seeing lands around residential towers in our city invigorated with food markets and community gardens. "
She continues, highlighting from her platform:
"We have 29% child poverty in the city and I am pledging to help alleviate this hunger with 36,000 more healthy breakfasts a week."
Food Forward's Food Justice Committee thanks Ms. Chow for her support and commitments. We hope to see other leading mayoral candidates endorse Food Nation with a commitment to significant results in improving food access, jobs and capacity by 2018.
In the 2010 election, leading mayoral candidates' released platforms with solutions on food access, job creation, and urban agriculture. Many council candidates also pledged support to start food initiatives with their communities, many of which have been started since that time. In this election, dozens of Council candidates have endorsed the Food Nation platform.
Candidates and Torontonians are encouarged to get involved, review the platform, and continue to build support, by making an endorsement at:
Food Forward's Food Justice Committee took our 'illegal foor cart' and free fruit to St. James Town in October, sharing with residents outside of a recently closed grocery store in the neighbourhood.
Watch how it went on CTV!
The group were discussing the impacts of the closure with those who would usually buy from the store in Canada's densest neighbourhood. Some of the areas estiamted 25,000 residents told members that it is difficult to access healthy and affordable food - that the remaining grocer has started running out of produce.
Food Forward wants to see development that increases food access, not decreases. See more in our Building Roots project. We will host a workshop in St. James Town and other neighbourhoods to learn more about needs and share advocacy tools with residents to affect change in new development - see "Building Roots" under our projects tab above.