The Metcalf Foundation recently published a collection of five new research reports, titled Metcalf Food Solutions, that provide a new vision for thinking about, producing and consuming food.
The Metcalf Foundation is a private family foundation that focuses on sustaining the vibrancy of the professional performing arts, ensuring the ecological integrity of our natural and working lands and developing lasting solutions to issues of poverty.
The new reports are a response to the ongoing crisis of food insecurity in Ontario, which includes key issues such as the increase in food bank usage, declining health as a result of the lack of access to nutritional foods, farmers who are in financial crisis, and agricultural land that is fast disappearing.
The reports provide recommendations for building a healthy, ecological, equitable and financially viable food system for Ontario:
- Rural Entrepreneurship: Investment, regulation and marketing should support new and innovative farmers growing and processing organic and niche products that respond directly to consumer demand thereby contributing to local, sustainable economic development;
- Return of the Cannery: A stronger regional processing sector is recommended to build a local food economy, helping Ontario’s farmers and processors benefit from and meet consumers’ growing demand for local food;
- City Gardens and Farms: Urban agriculture is recommended as a strategy to grow a sizable amount of the city’s vegetables and herbs, increasing access to healthy food for all while growing green jobs and cities;
- Community Food Centres: Toronto’s The Stop presents an innovative model — a place where people come together to grow, cook, eat, learn about and advocate for good food for all — that is ripe for roll-out across the province.
To address food system reform and support the implementation of these recommendations, the Metcalf Foundation is convening a roundtable of key stakeholders in fall 2010. For more information, please contact Julia Howell at 416-402-4274 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the Metcalf Food Solutions reports, visitwww.metcalffoundation.com.