Community Food Centres Canada to launch healthy food subsidy pilot program

Friday, December 15, 2017

Davenport MPP, Christina Martins, joins CFCC staff to announce the pilot program.

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.

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.

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.


“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.” – Cristina Martins, MPP for Davenport

“By subsidizing the cost of fruits and vegetables, 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. This is an approach that has had some significant momentum in the U.S., and thanks to this grant from the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, we’re able to study how best to implement and scale this innovative approach in Ontario, and potentially at a national scale.” - Kathryn Scharf, Chief Operating Officer, Community Food Centres Canada

“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.” - Debra Swan, Executive Director, The Local Community Food Centre


Media contact:
Kennedy Baker, Communications Manager, Community Food Centres Canada
(416) 531-8826 ext. 228 |

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

The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a $50 million, six-year initiative created to support innovative, community-driven projects that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty.


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