On June 9 while hosting a videoconference with media, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the launch of the second call for proposals under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund. This second call for proposals, valued at $43.4 million, will begin accepting applications today. The Fund aims to strengthen food support organizations and to help improve access to safe and nutritious food for Canadians at risk.
This second call for proposals under the program will support small and large community-led projects at facilities such as urban gardens, community kitchens, food banks, and greenhouses. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until funding has been allocated. Projects valued at up to $250,000 will be accepted. This second call for proposals could also support a cluster of organizations who are ready to enhance their regional food systems.
The Local Food Infrastructure Fund, a $50 million, five-year program under the Food Policy for Canada, is aimed at community-based, not-for-profit organizations. The program’s goal is to reduce food insecurity by establishing and/or strengthening local food networks in the medium to longer term. Under the first call for proposals of the program, 362 projects received funding of up to $25,000 for a total $6.6 million. This funding supported projects such as the purchase of new refrigerated trucks, kitchen equipment, community gardens, equipment needed to prepare, store and distribute food, and the installation of solar panels and irrigation systems, among others.
In April, the Government also launched a separate, $100-million emergency fund under the program to support national, regional, and local organizations across Canada that are able to reach people and communities experiencing food insecurity and who have been impacted by COVID-19. To date, this emergency funding has supported 1,765 individual projects in communities across Canada that are providing healthy food to Canadians in need.
"Our Government is committed to helping to improve food security for those who need it most. Through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, we are making meaningful improvements across Canada in support of access to food. I am pleased to launch the second call for proposals of the program, which opens the door to a cluster of organizations who are ready to enhance their regional food systems, and will help recipients continue their great work,” explained Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
· The Local Food Infrastructure Fund provides non-repayable funding for activities such as the construction of greenhouses and garden boxes, the purchase of equipment for the preparation, refrigeration, distribution and storage of food, and vehicle and transport equipment.
· The government has also committed significant resources to ensure food security during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
o $100 million in emergency funding through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund to support national food organizations focussed on food security and food recovery;
o A first-ever Surplus Food Purchase Program with an initial $50 million fund designed to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories;
o Providing an additional $25 million to Nutrition North Canada to increase subsidies so families can afford much-needed nutritious food and personal hygiene products.