Summer is harvest time in Ontario. The weather is finally suitable to growing our very favorite fruits and vegetables. Check out some of the local non-profit programs that are bridging the gap between farm and table.
Fresh from the Farm
Run by elementary students, Fresh from the Farm raises funds to support the Ontario School System by selling local produce. Not only does this fundraiser support local farmers, but it also emphasizes the importance of nutrition in the school systems. This program is so sustainable that 50% of its sales will be returned to Ontario’s farmers, 40% will go to Ontario schools, and 10% will remain in the program to keep it alive and growing.
Check them out here: http://www.freshfromfarm.ca/FAQ.aspx#q1
Growing for Change Community Garden
Sponsored by the Daily Bread Food Bank, the garden produces organic produce to be given away at the food bank to those in need. Not only did this garden produce over 1,200 pounds of produce last year, but it also took part in the World Crops Project, an organization that helps grow fruits and vegetables in high demand amongst Ontario’s culturally diverse communities.
Check them out here: http://www.dailybread.ca/programs/community-garden/
Community Harvest Ontario
A lot of produce doesn’t quite make the cut in terms of supermarket quality. The size, shape, or color of produce may not be satisfactory to sell in stores even though their nutrition, taste, and freshness is 100% suitable for consumption. Community Harvest not only saves this produce, which would have been otherwise disposed, and donates it, but also grows its own produce to be donated at local food banks.
Check them out here: http://oafb.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=oafb10_home
Good Food Box
The Good Food Box program is run by the non-profit FoodShare organization. Good Food Box supplies the community with fresh, top quality, Ontario-grown produce at a reduced cost. Customers choose what they want in their box and then have it delivered to neighborhood drop-off locations. The program promotes healthy eating and makes affordable produce easily accessible in the community. Right now Good Food Box distributes about 4,000 boxes to 200 different neighborhoods every month.
Check them out here: http://www.foodshare.net/good-food-box
Shovel and Spoon
Sometimes educating and providing hands on experience makes a greater and longer lasting impact. As they say, knowledge is power! Funded by The Table Community Food Centre, the Shovel and Spoon program brings together low-income youth and adults and teaches them how to grow and cook their healthy food. The program brings people together with a common goal of improving physical and social health.
Check them out here: http://thetablecfc.org/shovel-and-spoon