The Institutional Food Program
, part of the Foundation’s Sustainable Food Systems
initiative, seeks to increase the supply of fresh, local, and sustainable food in public institutions in Canada, prompting supply chain shifts towards more sustainable food systems. The Foundation is partnering on this program with Food Secure Canada
(FSC), who will be providing Institutional Food Fund recipients with technical support and coordinating a learning group. Grantees will learn from each other and experts in the field, sharing successes and challenges in shifting to more local and sustainable procurement.
The Foundation received over 20 applications to the Institutional Food Fund
from institutions with strong measures of readiness to change their procurement practices and supply chain relationships. Almost half of the applications were from the health care sector—including long-term care facilities which typically have more flexibility in addressing the limitations of $7 - $8 per patient for raw food costs by adapting menus to better accommodate the typically seasonal local food supply chain. Nevertheless, selected projects include institutions from the post-secondary, public school, and health sectors from across Canada.
Work with these individual institutions will be complemented by engagement with governments and the private sector and communications efforts in order to create a shared agenda for more sustainable institutional food.
Grants approved in this round—ranging from $40,000 to $75,000, and totalling $450,000—have been made to the following projects:
, QC – to hire a Sustainable Food System Manager to develop and implement a system and structure to track sustainable food benchmarks and support their implementation in various dining operations on campus.
Ecology Action Centre
, NS – to work in partnership with the provincial health care buying group, Nova Scotia Health Care Purchasing Ltd, to pilot sourcing local, sustainable seafood in three long-term health care facilities and a hospital in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
, AB – to facilitate a working group of large institutions and distributors to leverage the group’s buying power for increasing local food purchases.
Farm Folk/City Folk
, BC – to continue their Learning Lab process working with school food stakeholders including the Vancouver School Boards’ major broad line supplier on opportunities to increase local purchasing and promoting the use of seasonally based menus in schools.
North Island College
, BC – to increase local, sustainable food served on campus and to strategically build the capacity of local producers and distributors to supply large health care institutions in the Comox Valley.