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Minister MacAulay announces nearly $10 million in funding to strengthen local food security

Press Release

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

January 17, 2024

From coast to coast, food banks and community organizations provide vital support and services to address local food security needs and increase access to healthy food.

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga, visited the Wilmot Family Resource Centre to announce up to $9.98 million in funding through the fifth phase of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF).

This funding will support up to 192 new community-led projects across the country through investments in equipment and infrastructure needs to help improve the accessibility of nutritious, local food.

LFIF is a key component of the first-ever Food Policy for Canada and central to efforts to build a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada. Since it first launched in August 2019, LFIF has committed $64.8 million to support over 1,100 projects to improve food security across Canada, including community gardens and kitchens, refrigerated trucks and storage units for donated food, and greenhouses in remote and Northern communities.

The Government is working to provide relief to Canadians struggling with the increased cost of living. Through the introduction of Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, and efforts outlined in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the Government will continue to support Canadian families and stabilize food prices.

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Quotes

“As we continue our efforts to stabilize food prices and bring relief to Canadians, this new funding through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund will help put more healthy, local food on tables right across the country.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“In communities of all sizes, we need to continue supporting service organizations aiding families. Our federal government’s $23,000 investment empowered the Wilmot Family Resource Centre to acquire a refrigerated van, facilitating free access to locally grown produce for families in need. Given Kitchener–Conestoga’s fertile farmland, ensuring universal access to safe, affordable, locally sourced food is paramount for our community’s health and well-being.”

– Tim Louis, Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Conestoga

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement took place at the Wilmot Family Resource Centre in New Hamburg, Ontario. The Centre received support through the first phase of LFIF in 2020 that allowed them to purchase a cargo van. This has helped the organization significantly increase their food hamper program by providing delivery services, and to increase the variety of local healthy foods from farmer donations.
  • This initial announcement of projects follows the official launch of the fifth phase of LFIF on May 4, 2023.
  • In total, up to $10 million will be invested, with projects receiving between $15,000 and $120,000 each.
  • Of the 192 projects announced today, 65 are Indigenous-led, totalling up to $5 million.
  • LFIF complements other ongoing federal efforts to address food security in Indigenous, remote and Northern communities, including through Nutrition North Canada.
  • Projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of an agreement.
  • Project example: Whitefish Lake First Nation will receive up to $120,000 to purchase a hydroponic modular unit to grow fresh produce. This project will allow the community to increase the resiliency of its food system by expanding capacity of its year-round food production.
  • Project example: In Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Quebec, Solidarité citoyenne Portneuf will receive up to $69,503 to purchase a refrigerated trailer, commercial freezers and refrigerators, a shelf system for a refrigerated truck, shelves for food storage, transport bins and garden boxes. This project will allow the organization to increase its food production, storage and distribution capacities, thereby improving efficiency of its services and variety of foods provided to clients.
  • In Budget 2023, the Government of Canada provided a one-time Grocery Rebate to mitigate the impact of food inflation on Canadians through a GST tax credit of $2.5 billion for families with lower incomes.
  • In addition, as part of efforts to address food supply chain challenges, Budget 2023 proposed approximately $52.2 million to fund supply chain infrastructure projects that support the National Supply Chain Task Force’s recommendations and the development of a National Supply Chain Strategy.
  • In October, the Government of Canada launched the Food Price Data Hub to provide consumers with timely data on food prices in Canada in a central and easy-to-access location. This information is provided through a partnership between Statistics Canada, Industry, Science and Economic Development Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, recently passed in the House of Commons and Senate, and aims to help make life more affordable for Canadians by removing the GST on new rental housing across the country and to increase competition, particularly in the grocery sector, to stabilize food prices for Canadians.

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Contacts

For media:

Francis Chechile
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
francis.chechile@agr.gc.ca

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613‑773‑7972
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca

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