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Food fund seeking more applicants

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Putting food on the tables of at-risk Canadians is the goal of a $43.4 million fund, announced last week by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Applications for a second call for proposals for the fund are open now.

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.

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