News and announcements 11/17/2017

We’re rounding out the year by celebrating an expanding network of Good Food Organizations (GFOs). Meanwhile, we're amplifying the impact of some of these organizations by investing in their innovative child and youth programs.

Expanding horizons: The international network of Good Food Organizations — who access diverse learning resources and training supports — is expanding by 38 members this fall, now clocking in at over 130 organizations across ten provinces, two territories, and four countries! They range from health centres to food banks, teaching farms, and anti-poverty groups and together, have made a commitment to offering impactful community food programs based in principles of health, empowerment, and respect.

This year, the GFO program is branching out extra far: our northernmost member, the 
Community Garden Society of Inuvik, operates a large year-round greenhouse in the Northwest Territories where they run workshops, host farmers’ markets, and harvest hundreds of pounds of produce for the local food bank. Heading now to the furthest south, we’re excited to welcome aboard the 
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona — they serve 70,000 people a month through dozens of programs including food relief, education, gardening, and funding programs. Sailing east across the pond, our GFO ranks are joined for the first time ever by UK-based organizations. Real Economy in Bristol, England, for one, has been involved in researching and trying to create innovative solutions to the problem of food access in disadvantaged communities. For years they coordinated a food co-operative aiming to create a sustainable food supply system and an alternative to supermarkets.

Amplifying impact: While knowledge and training are extremely valuable, we firmly believe that pairing them with funding — the oxygen for our work, so to speak — amplifies our impact and the potential for organizational transformation. In addition to investing in Community Food Centre partnerships and having funded and launched now 15 FoodFit programs across Canada, we are now celebrating the third cohort of Child and Youth Innovation grantees. These $25,000 grants provide selected GFOs with a year’s funding to amplify their work and support them to develop, implement, and share innovative programs that use food as a way to build long-term health in children. Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients: Black Creek Community Farm(Toronto, ON), Food Action Society of the North Okanagan (Vernon, BC), Midwest Food Resources (North Battleford, SK), and South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (Vancouver, BC).

Scroll down to learn more about the programs this year’s Child and Youth Innovation grantees are undertaking as well as the full list of 2017 Good Food Organizations coming on board.

Welcome to our 2017 Good Food Organization members:

2017 Child & Youth Innovation Grantees:

These four Child & Youth Innovation grantees are being supported with $25,000 each for a year to run and capture learning from their respective programs. These grants have been made available thanks to the Lawson Foundation.  

  • Black Creek Community Farm (Toronto, ON): A leading urban farm and education centre in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, BCCF will use the grant to launch a cooking & gardening program using a train-the-trainer model for 15-24 year olds living in the community. The youth will then support their peers to build healthy food skills and take part in a friendly cooking competition!

  • Food Action Society of the North Okanagan (Vernon, BC): Having success for over 10 years in running community kitchens, community gardens, the Good Food Box, and a food reclamation program FASNO will launch Eat-Ability: Seed to Plate Food Skills — a ten-month project that will follow one school class as they build skills through the garden, kitchen, and classroom.

  • Midwest Food Resources (North Battleford, SK): For 20 years MFR has been serving the communities of northwest Saskatchewan with their Fresh Food Box program, community kitchens and gardens, and children’s food skills programs. Using the grant, they will deliver a food skills programs to Indigenous children ages 7-11 with a focus on the traditional harvesting and cooking practices of the Plains Cree and Metis peoples of the region.

  • South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (Vancouver, BC) A multi-faceted space delivering programs for families, seniors, and newcomers in South Vancouver, SVNH will use this grant to launch the Youth BLEND (Belonging, Leadership, Empowerment, Nourishment, Diversity) program which builds food skills through cross-cultural exchange between newcomer and non-newcomer youth ages 13-18 years.