Welcome to Food Forward


Pushing Further: Building your career in the good food movement

The booming food sector is providing a variety of exciting opportunities for today’s innovative job seekers and for those looking for a change of career. Already making up one of eight Toronto jobs, food work is a key component of the City’s employment and economy.

- The purpose of this mini-conference is to provide a series of educational and interactive sessions for those interested in getting or starting a job in the food, and related environment or health promotion sectors while making a difference in society.

- Find out what opportunities are hot and tasty. Learn about social entrepreneurship, different models of funding and if what might be right for you. Get advice from business owners and share & develop your own ideas or strategies for making it work.

- A similar event was done last November and found to be very popular... in fact, the networking and empowerment opportunities turned out to be the best part. Click here for a review of that event.

Date/Time: Saturday, April 9th, 11:30AM-5:00PM

Location: OISE, University of Toronto - room OISE 5260 (252 Bloor Street West)

Speakers and workshops:

- Introduction to the food movement and opportunities in the creative food economy & food system research - Harriet Friedmann, leading food policy researcher, Geography Professor and fellow of the Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto

- Nogah Kornberg, Executive Director of Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada - a workshop on skills that define a social entrepreneur, the difference between social entrepreneurship, nonprofit, charity work; and the growing area of "intra-preneurship"

- Kathleen Mackintosh, Founder and Owner of Culinarium, Toronto's all local food store - will discuss her experience starting local, sustainable food business that focus on people's needs and desires for fresh, healthy meals. Kathleen has a degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Ryerson University and holds Culinary Arts and Tour Guide certificates both from George Brown College.

- Noelle Munaretto, Operations Manager of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance and Coordinator with Young Urban Farmers CSA - Noelle will discuss opportunities in freelance food writing, urban agriculture and local food marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism with Honours from Ryerson University.

- "Unconference" style session on food sector work

- Post-event social & networking opportunity, and refreshment/healthy food break during the afternoon

Cost: $45 for Food Forward members, $50 for non-members, $5 for Supporting members.
(Lower cost spots for un/under-employed persons are now sold out, thanks for your interest).

Registration: Register for this event by registering at our Get Involved page or by becoming a Supporting Member - our form allows you to register and pay online or mail a cheque. Current Supporting Members and anyone with questions, please write to darcy@pushfoodforward.com

Event supported by: U of T Urban Agriculture Society

- This event raises funds for the work of Food Forward, which is advocating for food policy change in Toronto and working to strengthen the City's food movement.

This mini-conference is part of a week to build your career in the sustainable food movement, a partnership between Food Forward and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. This event focuses on social entrepreneurship and starting your own job, but for those also interested in current non-profit opportunities, you might also like to check out the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council's Youth Fair which Food Forward will be attending.

Learn more about Kathleen:


Darcy talks food on CKLN

It's Food Security Week at Ryerson, and Darcy sat down with Joel Dick on CKLN 88.1 FM’s Word of Mouth to talk about what Food Forward's been up to and why the food issues matter to the City of Toronto.

Take a listen below and learn more about what the Ryerson Students' Union and CESAR have planned for Food Security Week by clicking here.


Planting a seed, sprouting some sprouts

As you may have seen, Food Forward has launched Plant a Seed for Earth Hour 2011. Our challenge on March 26th is for everyone to get together to plant a seed and grow a plant or some vegetables, herbs or sprouts in your own home!

Take a look at our event on Facebook and mark your participation.

Now if you want to get fast results to eating time, try growing some sprouts in your own home. By joining Food Forward, we'll send you some to try out right away, which you can grow in a couple days in a jar at home - a great thing to do for yourself or with children. Mumm's has supplied us with organic sprouts to give our new members, and they also have a video here that shows you just how to do it.

We are dedicating Plant a Seed in honour of Toronto Market Manager and good food inspirer, the late Elizabeth Harris: http://bit.ly/eZpEPO


The Stop is Growing

Exciting news for Ontario communities as The Stop has announced their partners in expanding their innovative community food centre model. We hope to see partnerships develop to expand this model throughout different parts of Toronto as well.
See their media release:

Toronto, March 8, 2011 – The Stop Community Food Centre today announced that it has selected two Ontario towns, Perth and Stratford, as the first pilot sites to replicate The Stop’s innovative community food centre model, where food is used to build health, skills, and community. This unique and unprecedented collaboration is the first phase of a process that The Stop hopes will eventually bring the CFC model to every community in the country.

The Stop began life in the 1970s as one of Canada’s first food banks, and has been on the frontlines of confronting hunger ever since. Over the years, in order to confront the root causes of poverty, poor nutrition and social isolation, the non-profit organization has evolved into a thriving, holistic community centre offering a wide range of services and initiatives, including several community gardens and kitchens; after school cooking and gardening programs; a farmers’ market; community advocacy training; a nutritional support program for new and expectant mothers; and a sustainable food systems education centre. On a recent visit to Toronto, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said of The Stop: “I’ve travelled all around the world, and I’ve never seen anything like The Stop. Every city should have one.”

“The Stop is a grassroots approach to tackling some of the really big problems we have in our food system: diet-related illness, disappearing farmland, deepening poverty,” says Nick Saul, The Stop’s Executive Director. “There’s so much interest in food at the moment, and what good food can do for people and communities. We get calls and visits almost every day from other organizations interested in our approach.” Saul says the pilot process will be geared toward measuring the impact that multifaceted food centres can have on individual and community health to make the case that society needs to invest in more community food centres. “Traditionally, food programs have been run out of basements on a shoestring. We’re going to try to change that, to aim higher and to build a vibrant funding program that brings public and private money together to support these programs at the level they deserve.”

In the fall of 2010, a committee from The Stop, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion’s Healthy Communities Fund and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, set out to locate other communities who could most effectively adapt The Stop’s model for their own needs. After considering several locations, Perth and Stratford were chosen because of the combination of need and local infrastructure, as well as the strong and diverse set of local partners who share The Stop’s philosophy and are prepared to drive the project forward.

In Perth, The Stop will be partnering with the Perth and District Food Bank, a food bank whose staff and volunteers have decided to re-invent their organization. The food bank has recently purchased a 1960s-era stucco church which, once it is retrofitted with a kitchen and garden, will house their CFC.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with The Stop to create a version of a community food centre that re-creates the powerful, and exciting programs that we see at The Stop, but that is also relevant to our community,” says Nancy Wildgoose, a local resident who has been one of the driving forces behind the CFC initiative in Perth. Wildgoose envisions dining programs for seniors, healthy cooking programs for young parents and kids living on low incomes, community gardening programs open to the whole community and social enterprise initiatives as some of the options that hold promise for Perth.

In Stratford, the United Way of Perth-Huron is the lead partner and will incubate the project. “Our Food Security Coalition has been working on re-imagining the approach to food security in our community. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the range of programs that we can offer and develop other partnerships within the county,” says Ellen Balmain the Executive Director of the United Way of Perth- Huron. “We are thrilled that Stratford was chosen as one of the locations for The Stop’s project.” A location is currently being sought for the new project. Balmain points to the richness of the local food landscape, with the many successful restaurants, chef’s school and Slow Food movement as potentially powerful allies in this project. As with the Town of Perth, the rural environment will present new opportunities to address issues related to local farming and farm families.