Our Food Future's 10-point recovery plan in response to COVID-19
COVID-19 has deeply impacted our community. The closure of non-essential workplaces has led to job loss and income shocks, increasing the prevalence and severity of food insecurity. Disruptions to global supply chains have created uncertainty at our grocery stores. Physical distancing measures have forced food banks to find new ways to serve vulnerable populations. The closure of farmers’ markets has left producers without access to their customers.
The pandemic has disrupted social and economic structures, exacerbating food insecurity and many other system-level issues that Our Food Future aims to resolve.
During this challenging time, we pivoted our work to include a COVID-19 recovery plan. This 18-month strategy supports our agri-food and social benefit sectors today and creates a more sustainable and resilient food system to help us better withstand future emergencies.
Our 10-point plan is structured around three key priorities.
Increasing access to affordable, nutritious food
- Emergency Food Relief—immediate food distribution: coordinating an emergency food relief program supported by community donations
- Supporting Vulnerable Residents—identifying needs and coordinating action: collecting, analyzing and sharing data to determine best practices for serving vulnerable populations
- Get Growing—urban agriculture in Guelph-Wellington: distributing gardening kits, funding community gardens and helping newcomers learn to grow food from their home country
Supporting new and existing food businesses
- Seeding Our Food Future—micro-grant project: offering non-repayable grants of up to $5,000
- Launch Harve$t Impact Social Finance Fund—making funding available sooner
- Business Tools and Services for Food Sector to Reduce Waste—increasing the number of businesses receiving direct consulting services
Taking action to strengthen regional food system resiliency
- Connecting Food Producers and Consumers—creating a digital platform to help food producers connect with customers
- Enabling Distribution and Delivery Models for Online Food Delivery—developing innovative approaches for getting food to consumers
- Leveraging Food System Data to Help Our Partners Innovate and Respond to the Changing Market—identifying gaps in the local food system and opportunities to support food security and economic recovery
- Create a Food Resiliency Table—convening key collaborators to focus on building a resilient regional food system