Greenbelt Fund Awards Agriculture Grants to Support Local Food Initiatives

Greenbelt Fund Supports Local Food Initiatives

Collège Boréal has been awarded $10,000 in Ontario agriculture grants to carry-out a pilot project that will aim to increase students’ access to locally sourced foods on campus. In Spring 2017, 85% of post-secondary students articulated the importance of colleges supporting sustainability by serving local food options. To address this outlook, Collège Boréal will develop ways of encouraging academic institutions to purchase foods from local suppliers within their communities.

The contribution is being provided by the Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund, which supports local food initiatives. The program provides up to 50% coverage of project expenses to increase awareness and consumption of Ontario foods and beverages. Ontario government grants may be awarded for three types of projects, including (1) improving market access, (2) increasing local food literacy, and (3) growing Broader Public Sector (BPS) investments.

In addition to increasing nutritious food options for students in northern communities, the project will also support local food producers and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenbelt Fund Awards $10k in Ontario Government Grants for Local Food Project

In June 2017, the Government of Ontario announced it would be providing up to $10,000 in agriculture grants to support a local food pilot project at Collège Boréal. The project is 1 of 4 strategies being completed under Mohawk College’s Local Food Procurement Initiative. Three additional pilot projects will be carried out by Algonquin College, Fleming College, and Humber College.

Earlier this year, 78% of students expressed that it was important for post-secondary institutions to increase access to local food options at on-campus facilities.

To support student requests, Collège Boréal will conduct a food origins audit and begin introducing healthier food options within its cafeterias. The project will allow the college to identify ways of developing more sustainable practices, while improving its students’ experiences. Additionally, by increasing access to locally sources products, the colleges will improve their support of regional economies and indigenous food producers/processors.

If successful, this project will help the participating academic institutions determine the best ways to develop framework for local food procurement. In addition, this project has the potential to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions by reducing transportation needs.

Ontario Agriculture Grants for Local Food Initiatives

The Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund supports projects that increase awareness and consumption of Ontario-based food and beverage products. The program provides Ontario small business grants to help food producers/processors and non-profit organizations increase their production capacity, improve internal processes, and boost competitiveness.

Eligible applicants may receive up to 50% coverage of project expenses to help improve access to and consumption of Ontario food and beverage products.

The program is divided into three project streams, which include:

  1. Market Access: Encourages sustainable value chain relationships and provides insight into new or growing markets.
  2. Broader Public Sector: Developing strategies to increase the public sector and food services’ demand for local food products.
  3. Local Food Literacy: Expand local food awareness and literacy campaigns to educate consumers.

Please Note: The program is currently closed but re-opens for application intake at various times throughout the year.

Learn More About the Greenbelt Fund: Local Food Investment Fund

Program Overview     Eligibility Criteria     Program Update

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