The Greenbelt Fund is a not-for-profit organization who advocates for the consumption of locally farmed and manufactured agricultural products. Financed by the Government of Ontario, the Greenbelt Fund administers government grants to organizations that increase the accessibility or consumption of local food. Ontario businesses and not-for-profit organizations may receive 50% of eligible project expenses. Not-for-profits with exceptional projects may be able to receive up to 90% of projects expenses in Ontario government grants.
Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund Applicant Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for the Local Food Investment Fund, applicants must adhere by the following criteria:
- Be a public or private-sector organization;
- Have sufficient ability to execute the proposed project;
- Be able to contribute at least half of total project expenses in cash contributions; and
- Be willing and able to enter a formal written agreement with the Greenbelt Fund.
Project Eligibility for Local Food Investment Fund Grants
A variety of local food support projects are eligible to receive Ontario government funding through the Local Food Investment Fund. Through the Fund’s three streams, (1) Broader Public Sector, (2) Market Access, and (3) Local Food Literacy, many projects will be considered such as:
- Providing training and resources to help public-sector food service employees increase their knowledge of local food options;
- Conducting assessments to understand the potential of new markets and developing strategies to service the market effectively;
- Facility and equipment enhancements that support the year-round preparation of local food;
- Improving the quality, safety, or appearance of locally grown products to make them more ready for market sale;
- Developing strategies to increase the amount of local food consumed in organizations/institutions;
- Value chain enhancements that support the sale of local food to the broader public sector;
- Revising purchasing policies to track and systematically increase the amount of local food consumed;
- Implementing food traceability systems that identify the origins of food so that customers can choose local options more easily;
- Coordinating and promoting local food events that promote the purchase (or benefits of purchasing) locally-sourced food; and
- Delivering educational programs that access local food resources. This could include farm visits, educational workshops, and other advocacy initiatives.
Ineligible Projects for the Local Food Investment Fund
Although they can, in some circumstances, be included in larger projects, the following activities may not receive Greenbelt Fund grants:
- Nutrition and health awareness;
- Community development; and
- Gardening or horticultural skills development.
Local Food Investment Fund: Expense Eligibility
Greenbelt Fund will support any costs that it deems necessary to support the growth of local food initiatives. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Project management expenses (such as consultant and professional fees, business planning, and salaries for staff dedicated to the project;
- Capital expenses (such as minor equipment purchase and installations, technology upgrades, and productivity enhancements) to a maximum $150,000;
- Employee training fees; and
- Incremental administrative fees.
Ineligible Expenses for Greenbelt Fund’s Local Food Investment Fund
Necessary project expenses will be paid to an extent, however there are some expenses that Greenbelt Fund will not deem eligible, including:
- Any costs incurred prior to acceptance into the program;
- Any costs incurred after January 31, 2018;
- Normal business operating costs not directly ties to project completion;
- Normal business expansion fees for an existing market;
- Major capital expenditures;
- Per diems;
- Legal fees;
- Travel costs; and