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Federal investment to improve local food security in Saint-André-Avellin


August 10, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Photo from: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada via Twitter

Ottawa is investing up to $70,409 to help Alliance Alimentaire Papineau expand its community food programs.

According to the press release, this funding will help the Alliance purchase a cargo van and food processing equipment. The investment supports the Alliance’s gleaning program, in which the community harvests from local producers and shares food between participants. The project will also support the purchase of gardening equipment and plants to establish a community garden.

“Expanding its community harvesting program will increase access to healthy food from local producers and a new community garden will allow the most vulnerable to learn new skills and feed their families. Our government is also more than doubling the funding for projects this year and launched a new intake of applications so more communities can make meaningful improvements to increase access to healthy food for families in need,” said federal Agriculture and Agri-food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau.

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This investment was made through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund.

“The Local Food Infrastructure Fund has allowed Alliance Alimentaire Papineau to acquire a van and a washing room, which will improve our capacity to recover the region’s agricultural surplus. Together with Breakfast Club of Canada, this will allow us to deliver hundreds of breakfasts each day to several schools in the RCM. This fund allows us to ensure greater food security in the region and to actively participate in the food autonomy of Papineau RCM residents,” said Florent Trussard, Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Alliance Alimentaire Papineau.

On July 9, the federal government announced a top-up of $10 million for the Fund. With this additional funding to address pandemic-related food security pressures, the Fund is supporting $23 million in projects in 2021-22. Applications for the new LFIF intake will be accepted until August 13, 2021, depending on funding availability. Eligible applicants are not-for-profit organizations that have been in operation for at least two years, or Indigenous groups. For more information and to apply, visit the Local Food Infrastructure Fund website.

Since it first launched in August 2019, the Fund has committed $27 million to support over 625 vital food security projects across Canada, such as: community gardens and kitchens; refrigerated trucks and storage units for donated food; greenhouses in remote and northern communities; and more.

“Alliance Alimentaire Papineau provides vital resources to the community, including important food services for seniors. This support will allow the Alliance to further enhance its offerings to increase access to safe and healthy food for those who need it most in our region,” said Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation.

In 2019, the Alliance Alimentaire Papineau also received $19,125 under the first LFIF intake to build a multipurpose station to improve the conditions for gleaning fruit and vegetables from agricultural producers and to acquire equipment for its community kitchen. Its mission is to provide the community with tools to better feed themselves in order to develop their food autonomy and their power to act. The Alliance estimates that its gleaning program supports the collection of more than 3,000 pounds of food annually, which is provided to families in need during collective kitchen activities and culinary workshops.

According to Statistics Canada, one in seven Canadians indicated that they live in a household where there was food insecurity over a one-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic.