The Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security (“the Centre”) announces over $800,000 worth of commitments to three partnerships with organizations seeking to alleviate food insecurity across Canada.

Ottawa Food Bank will leverage the findings from a Centre-supported research project to test and scale holistic, “wrap-around” support services for food bank clients, including employment services, mental health care, financial capability support and language education. Carrefour Solidaire Community Food Centre (“Carrefour Solidaire CFC”) will scale the Carte Proximité program in Montreal, which seeks to increase the financial accessibility of fresh and prepared foods through reloadable charge cards. The Northern Manitoba Food, Culture, and Community Collaborative (“NMFCCC”) will grow its granting to grassroots and community partners across the province, support shared learning and engage in community and strategic planning.

“These new project investments cover a range of supports for people experiencing food insecurity across Canada,” from Sarah Stern, leader of the Centre. “We’re honoured to partner with these organizations to address the immediate needs of people experiencing food insecurity and to learn how to effect longer term changes. As a first step, we continue to advocate for the Federal Government to set a target to reduce food insecurity by at least 50% by 2030.”

“People who access food banks deserve help for the core reasons that brought them to the food bank in the first place,” said Rachael Wilson, CEO of Ottawa Food Bank. “With the support of the Centre, we will learn how to provide that help across the Ottawa Food Bank network and meet clients and community partners where they’re at.”

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“After testing out the Carte Proximité model, we’re excited to scale the program with support from the Centre and provide more families with access to fruits and vegetables in a more dignified way,” said Marie-Claude Morin Ouellet, executive co-director of Carrefour Solidaire CFC. “We know the strongest predictor of food insecurity is lack of income. While these cards can’t replace policy change, they are one step in the right direction.”

“This continued support from the Centre will help communities in Northern Manitoba advance food security and sovereignty in their regions,” said Julie Price of the NMFCCC. “Not only through grants, but in the shared learning that takes place between supporters, Northern advisors, community members, and staff.”

With these new projects, the Centre has made granting commitments close to $9 million since its launch in late 2016. In addition to this, the Centre advocates for critical public policies and invests in research that advance the capacity of people and communities to achieve food security. You can learn more about the Centre’s work at www.feedopportunity.com.