Local food procurement guides are a much needed resources to help public institutions take the first step to integrate local food into their commercial kitchens and encourage the adoption of local food procurement policies by Ontario municipalities, educational institutions and hospitals.
The food sector is the second largest employer in Ontario after the auto industry, employing more than 700,000 people.
Committed to creating local sustainable food systems, Local Food Plus is stepping in to boost employment in the agricultural sectors of the Greenbelt, as many Ontarians reel from job losses in Ontario’s largest industry, the automotive sector.Local Food Plus (LFP) creates new, green employment built on the Greenbelt’s food and agriculture sector while enhancing agricultural protection. Targeting the Greenbelt regions hardest hit by the loss of auto-related jobs—Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Oshawa—LFP creates local food jobs by establishing local food procurement strategies in municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.
The project has already delivered local food system workshops to over 1400 students, delivered teacher training, and coordinated the second annual Great Big Crunch, with over 29,000 Canadian participants.
With an emphasis on equal access to healthy food, FoodShare Toronto prioritizes healthy eating for children through programs and workshops that emphasize accessible, fresh, local, and healthy foods in schools.
Using their existing distribution network of fresh produce programs, FoodShare Toronto builds awareness and connections to Greenbelt producers. Expected results of the project include an increase in Greenbelt produce sold to Toronto community organizations, schools, and individuals, as well as opportunities for education and recognition of the Greenbelt and its produce.
Oshawa is the largest urban centre in the Durham Region, and hosts a weekly farmers’ market from May to October of every year.
The Regional Municipality of Durham seeks to foster relationships between producers, processors and consumers, through an innovative, centralized, year-round market for local food in a historic downtown Oshawa building. This work includes a feasibility study on the proposed location, a review of best management models, and cost determination associated with the proposed market.
According to a study by Farmers Markets Ontario, over 15 million people visited the 154 farmers’ markets in Ontario in 2008. From 1999-2008, the estimated annual growth in sales at farmers’ markets was 7.3%.
The Farmers’ Market Network helps to support local agriculture, and enhance public spaces, while making fresh food accessible for all.
The establishment of the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network enables market managers to run stronger markets, advocate for market-friendly policies at the municipal level, and to conduct consumer and policy research.
The Bike Train has already carried over 1,000 passengers, and now offers a trip route for bikers between Toronto and Montreal
Cycling is an excellent way to see and explore the immense landscapes of the Greenbelt and visit its vibrant communities, and the Bike Train makes it easier for Ontarians to jump on board and head out for a leisurely ride in our nearby Greenbelt areas.
The Greenbelt Express Toronto-Niagara Bike Train: After a successful pilot run, the Bike Train expands to create a model cycling tourism program for Niagara. The expanded program enables visitors to bring their bikes onto existing passenger trains, to encourage low impact Greenbelt tourism and healthy lifestyles.
Growth of the Greenbelt Express: This second expansion of the Toronto-Niagara Bike Train service allows cyclists of all levels more flexibility when planning their cycling adventures to the Greenbelt’s beautiful areas. The expanded program introduces increased service times, routes and destinations, aimed at increasing awareness of the Greenbelt and the diversity of cycling experiences available in Ontario.
The Greenbelt Express Toronto-Niagara Bike Train:
$25,000 November 29, 2007
Growth of the Greenbelt Express: $36,750 January 19, 2009
The St. Lawrence Market, located in downtown Toronto, is open year round, and is one of the city’s most popular markets.
Located in historic St. Lawrence Hall, the St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market has been around since 1803, serving the public with over 120 different specialty vendors, including fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, grains, baked goods and dairy products.
The St. Lawrence Farmers' Market incorporates Greenbelt messaging into all of their communications materials, reminding shoppers in Toronto’s downtown core that most of their market goods come from right inside the Greenbelt.
600,000 people live in the Credit River Watershed, and the population is growing at a rate of 2%. By 2020, 40% of the watershed will be developed, based on official municipal plans.
The Credit River Watershed sources water to its 10 neighboring municipalities, protects the habitats of a variety of species, serves as a central location for community-oriented environmental initiatives, and provides recreational space for local residents.
The Credit Valley Conservation Foundation study on the economic value of wetland ecosystems is the first of its kind, with a primary valuation of wetlands in Ontario. This builds on the work done by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2008 to estimate the economic value of all of the ecological goods and services provided by the Greenbelt, and lends input into a wetlands restoration strategy.
Planning grant for future work on park trails.
"People are coming to understand that sprawling cities and shiny new highways are not proof of a burgeoning economy. There are ways for our economy to develop in tandem with our countryside. What we need is the political will to take the first steps toward implementing these mutually beneficial solutions.” - Nicola Ross, Alternatives Journal, December 29, 2008.
Focusing on contemporary environmental issues, Alternatives Journal appeals to both academics and the general public by increasing awareness of the Greenbelt and encouraging discussion on key issues of protecting it.
Feature Articles and Escarpment Blues Benefit: Alternatives Journal increases its profile through the use of a one-page feature article on an organization working towards sustainable change. The funding also supports a fundraising event featuring singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer.
Journal Issue, Protecting Near Urban Lands: The June 2008 issue of Alternatives Journal focuses on protecting near urban lands, such as the Greenbelt, with various articles by Foundation grantees.
Alternatives Journal Support: Multiple issues of Alternatives Journal are supported in 2009 and 2010, with many themes and topics directly related to the Greenbelt and support of the Greenbelt as a sustainable, permanent feature.
Feature Articles and Escarpment Blues Benefit:
$5,000 February 25, 2008
Journal Issue, Protecting Near Urban Lands:
$5,000 July 15, 2008
Alternatives Journal Support:
$10,000 December 10, 2008