By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario -If you're looking to find more local food options for your family there's some good news on the horizon - an online database is being created that will list options for finding items produced close to home.
© Adam Brazeau
Pictured are United Counties of SD&G Warden Eric Duncan and Terry Besner, United Counties of SD&G economic development and communications officer.
A cash injection of $199,800 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation will help The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network and All Things Food to maintain a local food system in Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry and Prescott-Russell.
Dana Kittle, coordinator of the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network, said the OTF grant will increase access to local food through a slew of projects and programs.
For example, the SDG&PR Farm Fresh Local Food Map, which will be featured in print, online, and in a smartphone app, connects local and regional consumers and businesses with local food and farms throughout the region. The 2013 map is still available.
"The grant will have a positive impact on the local food economy, on the health of community members, and on our local environment," said Kittle.
United Counties of SD&G Warden Eric Duncan sees the funding as great news for eastern Ontario and the region.
"At the end of the day people are looking for local food," he said. "They want to get something from a local business or local farmer's market to put on their plate at home, but they don't know the information or what's out there."
The grant will also support the development of food policies and food charters among municipalities and institutions, bring local food and food security stakeholders together, promote local food branding initiatives and gleaning projects, and create greater local food procurement among Green Food Box programs.
The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network, established in 2010, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the development of the agri-food sector in Eastern Ontario. Their Network is composed of farms, farmer’s markets, local food businesses, agricultural associations and journals, non-profit groups, and economic development and government agencies.
All Things Food, established in 2008, is a Food Security Network dedicated to increasing access to local, healthy, and sustainable food for all residents of SD&G and surrounding communities by empowering and linking community members, institutions and organizations. Its goal is to support the development of healthy and sustainable communities that are food secure and food sovereign.