The Toronto Food Strategy works with a broad range of partners to enable a healthier and more sustainable food system for all. Below is an overview of several current projects.
Initiatives are popping up in subway stations, corner stores and neighbourhoods across Toronto.
Providing the convenience of healthy snacks and low cost fruits and vegetables within the TTC.
Commuters using Kipling, Downsview and Victoria Park subway stations can now visit a Grab Some Good pop-up market on their trip home.
Facilitating and supporting the conversion of existing convenience stores into "healthy corner stores".
Improving food accessibility in underserved communities through the sale of healthy, low-cost foods.
Watch for colourful coolers filled with crisp apples, fresh greens and nutritious grab-and-go snacks.
Travelling across Toronto, the Mobile Good Food Market visits neighbourhoods, offering low-cost, high quality produce.
Once a wheel-trans vehicle, this colourful "store on wheels" supports communities with few grocery stores.
"An online portal bringing good food to community agencies and Student Nutrition Programs at wholesale prices"
- Delivering food directly to organizations daily and on-demand and giving chefs the opportunity to work with fresh food, sourced from wholesalers or farmers
- Simplifing purchasing and making prices and account administration transparent
- Encouraging organizations to share creative ideas, as well as buying, selling and swapping equipment or produce
"A unique approach to food safety, nutrition and employment training for low-income communities"
Community Food Works is a program that combines the Food Handler Certificate with nutrition education, food skills and employment support to low income residents in Toronto. Participants get support with job skills, build social networks and learn about food safety and healthy eating. The program uses learner-centred participatory approach where sessions are tailored to meet the needs of the communities and held in community settings to enable better access to services.
Community Food Works is a partnership program between the Toronto Food Strategy, Toronto Public Health inspectors and dietitians, Toronto Employment and Social Services, and multiple community agencies. Some of the participants who were successful in getting the Food Handler Certificate were able to find jobs, start their own business, and volunteer in community food-based programs. Participants are also pursuing further education in culinary arts.
Community Food Works maps a list of community kitchens by Wards. These kitchens can be located at community centres, community health centres, churches/faith centres, at some schools, community hubs and other community places. At the time of this posting, these kitchens were inspected and were appropriate for delivering food skills and nutrition progamming. The list is not exhaustive and will be updated as appropriate.
Click at map location and contact the organization to verify the condition of the kitchen and its availability prior to use.
To obtain a copy of the Community Food Works Evaluation Report 2016 (PDF), email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Health Connection 416-338-7900.
"Growing the world’s foods in our own backyard"
With half of Toronto’s residents born outside of Canada, there is a large demand for diverse ethno-cultural vegetables, sometimes called "world crops" (e.g. bottle gourd, okra, bitter melon, tomatillo). People in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) spend more than $800 million on these vegetables each year. Many world crops are brought into Canada from other countries, but they can grow very well in the GTA.
The Toronto Food Strategy team is working with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the Toronto Food Policy Council to look at the possibility of growing more world crops locally. This can open up new markets for GTA farmers and make fresh, culturally diverse vegetables more available across the City.
"Mapping access to healthy food across Toronto"
Many Torontonians live in neighbourhoods with few sources of healthy, affordable and diverse foods. While income is the biggest determinant of food access, the geographic distribution of food retail outlets also creates an environment within which food choices are made.
Through food access mapping, the Toronto Food Strategy team is studying how location, income and social factors can affect how easy or hard it can be for people in different neighbourhoods to get healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate food.
The goal is to find solutions where the City can work with community and private sector partners to improve healthy food access across the City.