PRINCE EDWARD COUNTRY: An increasing number of Canadians have faced challenges in putting food on their tables due to COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, too many Canadians were struggling to access safe and healthy food.
The Government of Canada is committed to helping communities invest in infrastructure that will improve their food security and increase access to healthy, nutritious, and local foods for families in need.
Today, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Parliamentary Secretary Neil Ellis, announced an investment of up to $338,708 for seven organizations in Eastern Ontario.
This funding, under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund, will be used to purchase and install various forms of equipment, such as freezers, coolers, storage equipment and LED lighting systems.
This equipment will help fresh food last longer and provide safe, clean, and healthy food to people with immediate food needs.
The Parliamentary Secretary made the announcement 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 kitchens appliances and labor to install the newly acquired equipment.
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 the negotiation of a contribution agreement.
This investment was made through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund. 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 providing 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 Government of Canada is providing the necessary equipment and tools to improve food security in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is helping to provide the proper equipment to various organizations to keep food cooler for longer, allowing them to extend food’s life and provide more assistance to those who need it.”
Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Launched just months before the ongoing pandemic took hold in early 2020, County Food Hub has been here from the outset supporting our local food security groups to produce high volumes of nutritious, ready-to-eat meals destined for distribution to residents-in-need across Prince Edward County.
With a slate of start-up, and growing, local value-added food businesses now also regularly using our shared commercial kitchen and storage facilities, or housing their entire businesses here on-site as long-term tenants, this Local Food Infrastructure Fund comes as a needed boost for our social enterprise.
We look forward to being able to position ourselves even more robustly as the local agri-food economy grows, along with our continued community food requirements. Funds will be focused on more efficient, higher volume food production, a suite of packaging and storage solutions to match our demand, and a new baking lab.” Mike Farrell – General Manager, County Food Hub.
- 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.
- Since it first launched in August 2019, the Local Food Infrastructure Fund has already supported 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 $10 million top-ups for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund is part of the additional $140 million outlined in Budget 2021 to help emergency hunger relief organizations prevent hunger, strengthen food security in our communities, and provide nutritious food to more Canadians.
- The Local Food Infrastructure Fund is a 5 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.
- The Food Policy for Canada will help advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger, promote good health, reduce food waste, and encourage the sustainable transformation of the food system.
- The Government of Canada is also delivering the $200-million Emergency Food Security Fund by providing funding to national and regional organizations, which in turn support food banks and local food organizations across Canada, to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Prince Edward County Food Hub is a not-for-profit commercial kitchen that services small-scale food operations, caterers, food truck proprietors, restaurants, and not-for-profit food security organizations.
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