Skip to main content
People and programs 03/13/2024

The New Farm grows more than good food. Alongside their certified organic farm that produces high-quality vegetables for local restaurants, co-founders Gillian “Gil” Flies and Brent Preston are working to build a just, equitable, and inclusive food system in Southern Ontario. 

Part of that work involves increasing access to fresh, nourishing food. This is especially relevant for people living on low incomes. As the cost of living increases, food—especially costly fresh fruits and vegetables—is often the first expense people forgo to afford skyrocketing rent, much-needed medication, and other life necessities.

A growing partnership

We first partnered with The New Farm in 2009 to host the inaugural Farms for Change fundraiser. At the time, funds from the concert provided a few local community food organizations with fresh organic produce from The New Farm. Now, the Farms for Change concert is a much-anticipated (and instantly sold-out) annual event and more organizations have benefited from the Farms for Change program than ever before. 

Three years ago, The New Farm partnered with local food distributor 100KM Foods which took our impact to the next level. Through this partnership, along with the support of donors like Chickapea Pasta, up to 28 community food organizations across Southern Ontario have received grants of $10,000 to $20,000. Grants are used to purchase produce such as organic salad greens and cucumbers from the New Farm over a 20-week period. 

“Community members are very happy to receive the free fresh organic produce at our low-cost Good Food market and community meals. They like the variety of produce, having access to more vegetables, and trying new things. More importantly, thanks to the Farms for Change Fund, we can serve more people at this time of rising food costs.” 
— South Riverdale Community Health Centre

“It’s wonderful to hear comments like: ‘I love these cucumbers.’ ‘This is my favourite kind of lettuce.’ ‘Do you have any more of that fantastic spinach?’ from our community members. And our staff are so appreciative to have a consistent source of excellent quality produce. It makes us proud to be able to offer it.” 
— Hope House Guelph

A day at The New Farm

Late last summer, on a bright and sunny day, nine staff from four recipient community organizations gathered for the first time at The New Farm. Joining them were staff from Community Food Centres Canada, including Mam, Senior Specialist, Grants and Partnerships, and Anika, Director, Community Giving and Development Operations.

We toured The New Farm alongside Gil and her incredible team. We indulged in delicious fresh tomatoes, made friends with the resident cows and chickens, and connected over heartwarming stories of impact from the recipient organizations.

It was a great way to see the roots of the food that graced tables and nourished people throughout the earlier summer months. And meet the farmers at the heart of it!

Thank you to The New Farm, 100km Foods, our generous donors, and our most recent cohort of 28 community organizations for working together to provide nourishing food to community members in Southern Ontario.
back to top