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Federal support to improve food security in Eastern Ontario


August 3, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The federal government has announced an investment of up to $338,708 for seven organizations in Eastern Ontario, targeting local food security.

Under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the investment will be used to purchase and install various forms of equipment, such as freezers, coolers, storage equipment and an LED lighting system. This equipment will aim to help fresh food last longer and provide safe, clean and healthy food to people with immediate food needs.

The announcement was made last week at the Prince Edward County Food Hub, which is receiving up to $74,350 for a standing walk in cooler, gas powered steam kettle, reach in blast chiller and a variety of small kitchen appliances and labour to install the newly acquired equipment.

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Other recipients include:

  • The Community Training and Development Centre for Innovation and Improvement is receiving up to $23,526 for a blast chiller and a dehydrator to further maximize meals’ nutritional value through blast freezing.
  • The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes is receiving up to $30,238 for energy-efficient refrigeration and freezer units, commercial dishwashers, commercial sink, faucet, shelving units, stainless steel work tables and small kitchenware.
  • The Nourish & Develop Foundation received up to $45,550 for a Mobile Food Market by retrofitting an existing van into a refrigerated vehicle, as well as the purchase and retrofit of a cargo trailer to act as a market stand.
  • The Society of St. Vincent de Paul received up to $17,000 for the purchase of a new 7’x7′ walk-in cooler to replace the current aging cooler that became inefficient, allowing them to provide fresh food to those in need of assistance.
  • The Renfrew and District Food Bank received up to $101,542 for a refrigerated cargo vehicle, the purchase of food handling and storage equipment, and the construction of an irrigated community garden that will provide an additional source of fresh and nutritious food for the food bank.
  • The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre is receiving up to $46,502 for the acquisition of equipment, including a LED lighting system and a commercial refrigerator to produce crops at full capacity, doubling their production of nutrient-dense microgreens year-round in their existing greenhouse.

Projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of a contribution agreement.

On July 9, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced a top-up of $10 million for the Fund. This additional top-up is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide continued support to emergency hunger relief organizations, which have faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as higher demands and fewer resources. With this additional funding to address pandemic-related food security pressures, the Fund is supporting $23 million in projects in 2021-22.

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.

The fund reopened for applications last month, with a top up of $10 million.  Applications are due Aug. 13.

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.

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund is a five-year, $60 million initiative launched in August 2019 under the Food Policy for Canada, which is a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada.