Local Food Infrastructure Fund announces new phase

Jun 23, 2023 | News

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund which has been funding community farming projects since 2019 will be announcing the recipients for the latest round on funding in the next weeks.

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund was launched in 2019 by the Canadian government as a way to encourage communities to set up local food infrastructures such as farms and greenhouses.

This created more food options for communities that may lack access to food diversity or options.

The fund was also set up as a way to try and create local, community based solutions for growing food inequality across the country.

This is particularly the case in more rural areas where food options may be scarce and expensive.

The newest phase of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund was announced in early March as has ended its application cycle at the beginning of June.

This new phase of the plan and new round of funding are aimed at tackling food insecurity.

Previous recipients of the funding focused overwhelmingly on purchasing new equipment and technologies that would help them grow their produce more efficiently and sustainably.

Rene Van Acker, dean of Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, said using new technologies is key for these community farms if they want to make a difference.

“I think technology will yield some breakthroughs in some different ways, he said.

And one of them might be to produce ingredients that were maybe previously produced in animals, and you might be able to produce those ingredients without using animals, and you might use less energy, less water, and so it might cost less to produce those ingredients.”

Having funding for this kind of technology and equipment is a huge advantage for any kind of community farms since they tend to be smaller and have less resources.

Van Acker said that this gives everyone the opportunity to eat locally and more sustainably.

“Everything can be fork to field,” he said.

Food insecurity affects more than one in five people in Canada according to PROOF.

PROOF studies also show food insecurity is far worse in rural areas due to the lack of food options and high grocery prices.

According to their 2021 studies, more than 46 per cent of people in Nunavut struggled with at least moderate food insecurity as opposed to 13 per cent in Quebec.

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund could be a way for communities to have more autonomy in the way that they feed themselves and those around them.

The recipients of the funding should be announced in the next few weeks