This week, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, highlighted an investment of up to $78,338 to Maison Francine Leroux under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund’s second phase.
Established in 2020, Maison Francine Leroux is a non-profit organization that promotes intergenerational sharing through textile arts, reading and cooking in the community. The Maison Francine Leroux building contains three large rooms, including a collective kitchen, where community members of all ages can safely meet to socialize, share ideas, enjoy coffee or a meal together, and lessen the feeling of isolation.
The announcement supports the installation of a new kitchen space at Maison Francine Leroux. Additionally, this LFIF funding is supporting the purchase of new kitchen appliances and equipment (including dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, freezer and hood), as well as tables, chairs and countertop benches for the shared space. The project will enable a fully-functional collective kitchen to address food security needs of community members and provide opportunities to learn about food preparation and preservation.
The Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF), originally a five-year, $50-million program under the Food Policy for Canada, is aimed at community-based, not-for-profit organizations. The mission of the program is to reduce food insecurity by establishing and/or strengthening local food systems in the medium to longer term. Additionally, Budget 2021 included a $10-million top-up for LFIF, which is supporting rapid-response grants to help prevent hunger through investments in infrastructure needs.
The application intake for the second phase of the program ended on February 12, 2021. This phase supports community-based, not-for-profit organizations to improve their food systems through investments in infrastructure that are directly related to addressing food insecurities and increasing the accessibility of healthy, nutritious and local foods within their community.
“In Canada, no one should have to go hungry. Strengthening food security for our most vulnerable populations is more important than ever. With support from the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, Maison Francine Leroux will be better equipped to provide nutritious food for community members in need, as well as educate people of all ages about food preparation and preservation.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Thanks to funding through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, Maison Francine Leroux was able to set up a new kitchen where meals are prepared by volunteers on site using local products. Our activities, such as the community kitchen, the prêt-à-manger and the collective kitchen, allow citizens of all ages to eat well at a reasonable price. Additionally, we can break the isolation for our most vulnerable community members, including people with disabilities. We were honoured to welcome Minister Bibeau to the inauguration of the kitchen this week.”
– Francine Leroux, President, Maison Francine Leroux
643 projects across Canada, totaling $27.6 million have been funded through the first and second rounds of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, which took place from August to November 2019 and June 2020 and February 2021, respectively.
The vision for the Food Policy for Canada is that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food and that Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy.
Budget 2021 included a $10-million top-up for LFIF. The application intake for this phase of the program ended on September 3, 2021. This phase mobilizes the funding to provide rapid-response grants to help prevent hunger through investments in infrastructure needs.
Additionally, the Government of Canada has invested $300 million through the Emergency Food Security Fund. Funding is provided 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. This includes $30 million to help improve access to food and increase food supply for Indigenous communities through the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
Additionally, the Government of Canada invested $50 million in the Surplus Food Rescue Program, which moved surplus food commodities through the food system as efficiently as possible to help vulnerable Canadians, and an additional $25 million in Nutrition North Canada to increase subsidies so families in the North and Arctic can afford much-needed nutritious food and personal hygiene products.