Media Release: Ontario and Greenbelt Fund Bringing More Food to Ontario Colleges
Local Food Investment Fund Supporting 23 Local Food Projects With $1.5 Million In Funding.
The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Ontario Government, is providing Mohawk College with $100,000 in funding through the Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) to develop the first provincial local food procurement model for Ontario colleges. Along with increasing local food literacy and availability at Mohawk College, the pilot project is expected to increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over two years at three participating colleges.
Results from the pilot project will be shared at a province-wide summit for colleges in the fall of 2017 to help other post-secondary institutions find opportunities to increase their own procurement of locally sourced food. Mohawk College is expecting the project to help increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over the next two years — a 15:1 return on the LFIF’s investment.
“Mohawk College’s leadership in local food will create a model that can be replicated across the province,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “The public sector spends $745 million on food each year, and we are investing to make sure more of that money is spent on Ontario grown and made food.”
“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is helping to expose more students and young people across this province to the great foods we grow, harvest and make here in Ontario, while helping to create new opportunities for our local agri-food producers,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.. “By tapping into broader public sector institutions, like colleges, this funding can change procurement habits to ensure more public money is spent buying Ontario products, and in turn, make more Ontarians aware of local food while building a strong agri-food sector to help grow our economy.”
“Mohawk College is committed to sustainability and local food is a key component of that commitment,” said Deborah Brown, Vice President of Corporate Services at Mohawk College. “Our hope is to use our experience to establish best practices we can share with Colleges Ontario to change the way students eat across the province.”
Through the LFIF, the Greenbelt is investing nearly $850,000 to support ten projects in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, bringing more Ontario grown and raised food to Ontarians. A total of $1.5 million in funding is being invested across the province.
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Mohawk College educates and serves 30,000 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three campuses and two City School locations at the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre and the Central Public Library in Hamilton, Ontario. Mohawk has ranked first among all Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area colleges in student satisfaction for seven consecutive years and first in graduate satisfaction for the past five years. Mohawk ranks 15th among all colleges in Canada for applied research activity and has been named among Canada’s greenest employers and the region’s top employers for the past three years.