News and announcements 12/15/2017

Toronto – Today Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) announced a three-year, innovative pilot program to offer fresh fruit and vegetable vouchers to more than 300 single-parent families living on low incomes. Davenport MPP Cristina Martins formally announced the grant in Toronto and delivered her congratulations on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

The program is supported by a three-year, $427,600 delivered through the Government of Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund (LPRF). The grant, funded by the Government of Ontario and administered by its agency the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is helping Community Food Centres Canada support those in need in Stratford and Midland.

“Fairness and opportunity for all are at the heart of the LPRF, and everything that we are seeking to do as a government. The funding for Community Food Centres Canada here will help to support those most in need in our province, and ensure that they have access to the good things that grow in Ontario," said Cristina Martins, MPP for Davenport.

The fruit and vegetable voucher program will be offered through two of CFCC’s community partners, the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford and Chigamik Community Health Centre in Midland. Beginning in March 2018, the two organizations will offer weekly vouchers worth $10 to $20 to families with young children living on low incomes. The three-year, $427,600 Local Poverty Reduction Fund grant will evaluate the effectiveness and impact of providing vouchers to low-income single parents and families, connecting them to affordable produce markets and other community programs and supports. The data collected will contribute to a body of knowledge that will support poverty reduction programs across the province.

“The Local Community Food Centre is thrilled to be part of this pilot project. Not only will it have an impact on the health of children in our community, but it will provide support to low income families in a dignified way that empowers parents to become part of the good food movement here in Stratford, as well as The Local community. It is our experience that when parents are supported in an inclusive way, rather than marginalizing them further from their neighbours, they are better able to focus on their parenting role in every aspect of family and community life,” added Debra Swan, Executive Director, The Local Community Food Centre.

“We hope to make it easier for community members to afford the healthy food they want to feed their families—the foods they enjoy, that support their well-being—and that will help to support better health in both the short- and longer-term.” - Kathryn Scharf, Chief Operating Officer, Community Food Centres Canada

This investment by the Government of Ontario is just one way the province is bolstering innovative local programs that support groups disproportionately affected by poverty. Through the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, Ontario is helping to break the cycle of poverty for children and youth, increase employment and income security, and end homelessness in Ontario.

Community Food Centres Canada builds and supports vibrant, food-focused places in low-income communities that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all.