food policy

Oct
5

World Food Day Toronto: creating a vibrant local food system that works for everyone

Join us for an exciting World Food Day, hosted by the Regent Park community, to learn more about some of the food problems in our neighbourhoods, and how we can create a just and sustainable food system in Toronto.

The evening begins with a diverse local food reception with world-famous chef & Soupstock organizer/food activist Michael Stadtlander, with samples of his, and food from the community. We'll hear from Michael, government, and food community leaders on how we can work together for better food and food access. The evening will end with "unconference" style workshops giving you an opportunity to discuss and develop food solutions with our guests. 

Speakers in food justice, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship include Nick Saul (Community Food Centres Canada), Suresh Doss (Ontario Food Trucks), Laura Reinsborough (Not Far From The Tree), Erin Shapero (Ontario Greenbelt Alliance), Yung Chang (film maker), Mark Cutrara (Cowbell Restaurant), Tzazna Miranda-Leal (Justicia for Migrant Workers), David Reycraft (Regent Park food Partnership, Dixon Hall), Seana Irvine (Evergreen), Bryan Gilvesy (YU Ranch, Sustain Ontario). Meet food organizers from Regent Park and get involved in projects and campaigns.

Where: Daniels Spectrum ~ a Cultural Hub in Regent Park, 585 Dundas Street East. Toronto

When: October 16, Doors Open/Sign-in 5:15 - Reception 5:30-6:00 - Guests, speakers, workshops 6:00-9:00

How: Get your ticket here. This event is pay what you can, to support Food Forward's ongoing work and Food Entrepreneur Training Program. Learn more about how to get involved in Toronto food projects from our links above.

Event organized by food advocacy group Food Forward and social change film series Films That Move.

Diverse local + sustainable food donations are welcome for those who'd like to showcase their eats.

Tweet: #wfd2012 #foodTO

Facebook: Event page

Sponsored by the Regent Park Food Partnership, The Centre for Social Innovation, and The Michael Young Family Foundation

Sep
26

October @ Food Forward

We're harvesting a great line-up and wanted to share events we are sponsoring for October 2nd, as well as save the date for World Food Day, the evening of October 16th for a major event with Chef Michael Stadtlander and other community food advocates, entrepreneurs, and government, as we head towards Soupstock and the introduction of a strong Local Food Act.

As part of Social Justice Week at Ryerson University, a pair of events will aim to create a conversation with some of our friends in food and labour activism, with a focus on justice for migrant workers.

A lunch and learn from 12-2pm in Thomas Lounge, Oakham House, will have representatives from Justicia for Migrant Workers, the Agricultural Workers Alliance, Toronto Food Policy Council, and Food Secure Canada, with special guests, to Peruvian migrant workers who survived the tragic accident that killed ten workers in February of this year.

A participatory workshop, "Building Alliances for Sustainable Food and Just Labour" will take place to continue the dialogue, between 2:30-5pm. We welcome our members and friends interested in these issues to bring a critical dialogue.

Please RSVP to lbaker2@toronto.ca. We particularly welcome young people and those from immigrant and racialized communities to attend.

In the evening, we are pleased to be sponsoring a much anticipated screening of Crackdown! Included will be a panel discussion with Matthew Bailey-Dick (Waterloo Hen Association), Chris Schafer (Canadian Constitution Foundation), Dr. Barry Pakes (public health, ER and primate care physician), Anonymous Toronto chicken keeper, Carolyn Young (Sustain Ontario), Jan Keck (film maker). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Please mark down World Food Day downtown for our biggest event yet, more details next week. Take a look below for Global Food Equity Events around World Food Day in October.

Jul
5

Imagine a garden in every school

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

Jun
28

Street Food@City Hall - Food Forward & Toronto Street Food Project in the news

Toronto gourmet food trucks stall – The Star

Street food advocate Darcy Higgins told reporters that food trucks co-exist with restaurants in other centres.

“I just want to sell sandwiches,” said Matthew Basile, whose Fidel Gastro’s Cuban sandwich truck doesn’t have a permanent location.

Committee votes to send Street Food Project recommendations to Director of Licensing 

T.O. streets getting food aplenty – The Sun

Darcy Higgins, the executive director of Food Forward, said they were happy to see changes being made for existing food vendors.

Councillor Josh Colle - who has been pushing for the city to address red tape surrounding food trucks - said the ongoing delay will likely mean food trucks miss out on two seasons of “prime business”.

Committee adopts broader menu for hot dog carts, delays better food truck rules – Openfile.ca

Darcy Higgins, representing the group PushFoodForward, had asked the committee to consider three recommendations for immediate action today (which would have been passed at the next council meeting in early July).

Higgins was disappointed in the committee's decision. "We hoped we could move further, obviously," he said, though he was happy for the expanded options for hot dog carts—and Toronto finally catching up to changes in the rules that Ontario made in 2007.

City not doing enough to quell our appetite for street food - National Post

“I will be operating out of a food truck within the next six months,” he vows. But Mr. Robertson tells me there is no public or private land in central Toronto zoned to permit Mr. Basile’s truck.

Darcy Higgins of the group Food Forward suggested that the city “allow refreshment vehicles and food vendors to vend temporarily in commercial parking lots for a period of up to four hours;” councillors sent that back to staff for study.

A Truckin' Good Summer: Toronto Food Trucks? Truck Yeah! - Toronto Standard

Suresh Doss: Food truck hubs in designated areas or parks can generate revenue for the city. The containers (such as the ones at Scadding Court) can be a platform for indie food entrepreneurs that don't have the money for a food truck, but want to test their food ideas.

Suresh Doss: I would like to see the City of Toronto work towards street food installations where we can consider restaurants, popups, and food trucks.