Food Forward has been playing a big role in Vote ON Food and Farming, the provincial campaign led by Sustain Ontario to raise the profile of food and farming, by engaging residents and candidates in Toronto and across the province. We believe that good food has the power to make change. Please visit the website to pledge to make food and farming an election issue, and send a note to your candidates.
Volunteers are out at farmer's markets, festivals and all-candidate's meetings and many folks are involved in campaigns for candidates they believe will make good food change. Let us know if you'd like to get involved - email firstname.lastname@example.org
As FarmStart's Christie Young describes here, a new food economy that supports young farmers and food businesses can happen with a little more support, with a level-playing field for new, small and ecological farmers and food enterprises. Let's raise this vision of a stronger local economy with our candidates and get some commitments for change. Some parties are already discussing these issues (see voteonfood.ca for their platforms) and we need to see them implement action in office.
Vote for food and farming October 6.
Media Release from FoodShare:
FoodShare asks Mayor and City of Toronto to Reconsider Cuts:
Do Not Destroy the Social Safety Net – You will make Toronto Unliveable for All
FoodShare Executive Director Debbie Field today will today ask Mayor Ford and the Executive Committee to reconsider cuts to community programs and ensure that Toronto's social safety net is not destroyed, creating profound human cost more deep than any financial one, which would make Toronto unliveable for all.
Our city infrastructure is not just made up of roads and physical structures," says Debbie Field. "Over many years, the City of Toronto has pioneered community and social programs that support a human infrastructure, our social safety net. Today you are considering eliminating that social safety net, the very foundation that makes Toronto a leader and a great liveable city, a city that tourists want to visit and a city that companies want to do business in. I urge you to consider the great costs to our city if you dismantle this infrastructure. These costs will have compounding negative impacts that resonate for years to come. There's a much bigger budget balancing process at stake here, one that will impact every single citizen of Toronto, and the entire city's economic prospects for years to come."
In 1985, when then-Mayor Art Eggleton recommended that the City fund the creation of FoodShare, Toronto took a pioneering step in North America and the world, prioritizing food, and recognizing the multifaceted impacts it brings, to create strong healthy liveable communities and great cities.
This week in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is spearheading a movement to turn Chicago around using urban agriculture programs. As Toronto City Council considers cuts to vital community programs like urban agriculture, other cities have just deemed these programs essential services.
Toronto needs to remain a city that puts food first. Not only does food provide the nutrition on which good health is built, it also builds and sustains healthy vibrant cities. And as 'the great connector,' something all of us have in common, it becomes a conduit through which great things are made possible:
− Building diverse and inclusive healthy communities.
− Breaking down social isolation and creating vibrant public spaces.
− Reducing violence.
− Ensuring prosperity and a strong economy.
FoodShare and our community partners are participating in the deputation process at City Hall to be sure that Mayor Ford and City Council know that when Torontonians voted for cost cutting and lower taxes, Torontonians were not voting for a fire sale and wholesale destruction of services that we use each and every day. Community Program Funding supports core services not frills.
Toronto must not go down the path taken by Boston, New York City and Los Angeles," urges Field, "cities that have all made the mistakes you are considering - cutting community and student nutrition programs, selling off public properties, closing schools - only to and reinstate them years later at greater municipal costs, after realizing far more profound human costs. Do not be pound foolish. These are essential services."
FoodShare Toronto (www.foodshare.net ) is Canada's largest community food security organization. Now in its 27th year, FoodShare works with communities to strengthen and build the City of Toronto through improving access to healthy, affordable, food through community development programs, with a vision of Good Healthy Food for All. FoodShare's programs, which reach over 145,000 children and adults per month in Toronto, include fresh produce delivery, student nutrition, community gardening, composting, community cooking, and urban agriculture. With all of its work based on a capacity-building model and the distribution of tools and solution-resources for community adaptation, FoodShare's impacts grow exponentially, supporting and building healthy communities in Toronto.
Debbie Field, Executive Director
c : 416.576.7349
Adrienne De Francesco, Communications Manager
Join Sustain Ontario, Food Forward and other partners as we build a campaign to create food policy change in the next election. Comment on one of this or Sustain's blog with questions or to get involved. We'll really be collaborating across sectors to achieve big success. Get ready, and we hope your organization or friends can help organize in your riding - our resources will help.
by Ravenna Barker and Wayne Roberts
Three huge issues will be front and centre in Ontario’s 2011 election – health, health and health. All three issues – medical health, economic health and environmental health – have one thing in common. Good food is indispensable to success with all of them.
With growing awareness of the importance, value, and potential of food across Ontario this could be the year that food finds its rightful place at the policy table. In Ontario today there is no food ministry, minister, office, department, legislation, plan or strategy. As a result we’re missing out on great opportunities to create jobs– the food sector has already become Ontario’s top employer; improve health promotion and generate huge medical savings; create lively and welcoming communities; engage students and make curricula relevant; and improve our air, soil, water and wildlife habitat. Food can make all of these things happen – but it won’t until there’s coordination across ministries, jurisdictions, communities and businesses.
Sustain Ontario’s job is to bring together a wide range of food-related community and stakeholder groups across the province. Our non-partisan goal is to help the government get its act together with food. We’d like to see all parties integrate a focus on food into their platforms, taking advantage of the opportunities that come from managing the food file in an integrated way.
Read more, including policy ideas: http://sustainontario.com/2011/06/15/5470/blog/news/ontario-election-201...