Minister Bibeau announces over $2.5 million to help improve food security in Montreal

News release

July 12, 2021 – Montreal, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and the Member of Parliament for Hochelaga, Soraya Martinez Ferrada, announced over $2.5 million for 30 projects with local not-for-profit organizations in the Montreal area. These investments, through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, will support projects that facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations and strengthen the local food system.

The announcement was made during a visit to La Cuisine Collective Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, which is receiving nearly $235,000 to establish an urban farm, including installation of two greenhouses and the purchase of horticultural equipment. The products grown at the farm will be integrated into food baskets distributed to families in need and also used in local solidarity markets, collective kitchens and low-rent housing units. A full list of projects can be found in the backgrounder.

On July 9, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced a top-up of $10 million for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which re-opens for applications today. The additional top-up of $10 million is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide continued support to emergency hunger relief organizations, who have faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as higher demands and fewer resources. With this additional funding to address pandemic-related food security pressures, the Fund is supporting $23 million in projects in 2021-22.

The new call for proposals will support infrastructure projects such as a walk-in refrigerator for a food bank, or installing a greenhouse in a remote community. Applications for grants valued between $15,000 and $100,000 are being accepted.

Since it was first launched in August 2019, the Fund has already committed $27 million to support over 625 vital food security projects across Canada, such as: community gardens and kitchens; refrigerated trucks and storage units for donated food; greenhouses in remote and northern communities; and more.

An increasing number of Canadians have faced challenges in putting food on their tables due to COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, too many Canadians were struggling to access safe and healthy food. The Government of Canada is committed to helping communities invest in infrastructure that will improve their food security and increase access to healthy, nutritious and local foods for families in need.

Quotes

“In Canada, no one should have to go hungry. With support through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, these Montreal organizations will be better able to provide nutritious food to families when they need it most. Our Government is also more than doubling the funding for projects this year and launching a new intake period of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which opens today, so that more communities can make meaningful improvements that increase access to healthy food for families in need.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“Urban agriculture is a tool to fight food insecurity. We must ensure food sovereignty in urban areas for future generations. Cuisine Collective Hochelaga-Maisonneuve’s innovative, structuring urban farm project will have a positive impact on our most vulnerable communities and will promote the development of Montreal East.”

- Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Member of Parliament for Hochelaga

“The Local Food Infrastructure Fund has a real and measurable impact on community organizations in Quebec and across Canada. Access to safe and healthy food is very important to the vitality of our communities, and groups like Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir can now increase their supply of food to those most in need in our region.”

- Emmanuel Dubourg, Member of Parliament for Bourassa

“The right to healthy food for all requires concrete engagement. Sovereignty in quality supply for the most vulnerable among us requires improved autonomy of collective production. The involvement of federal authorities, who believe in our project of a farm in the city for all, allows this large-scale production while promoting the creation of quality jobs locally.”

- Benoist De Peyrelongue, Director General, La Cuisine Collective Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

Quick facts

  • According to Statistics Canada, one in seven Canadians indicated that they live in a household where there was food insecurity over a one-month period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Applications for the new intake will be accepted until August 13, 2021, depending on funding availability. Eligible applicants are not-for-profit organizations that have been in operation for at least two years, or Indigenous groups. For more information and to apply, visit the Local Food Infrastructure Fund website. 

  • The Government of Canada is also delivering the $200-million Emergency Food Security Fund by providing funding to national and regional organizations, which in turn support food banks and local food organizations across Canada to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The $10 million top-up for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund is part of the additional $140 million outlined in Budget 2021 to help emergency hunger relief organizations prevent hunger, strengthen food security in our communities, and provide nutritious food to more Canadians. 

  • The Local Food Infrastructure Fund was launched in August 2019 under the Food Policy for Canada, a roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada.

  • The Food Policy for Canada will help advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including to end hunger, promote good health, reduce food waste, and encourage sustainable transformation of the food system. 

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Contacts

Oliver Anderson
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
oliver.anderson@agr.gc.ca
613-462-4327

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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