Apply now for Our Meals Future group food-growing initiative grants in Guelph

Local food-growing initiatives can apply for grants now from Our Food Future.

Our Food Future is striving to improve access to nutritious food in Guelph and help fund community food-growing initiatives with up to $20,000 in grants. They are taking applications from people, groups and businesses for up to 10 grants from July 30, 2022, through to October 17.

The program, led by Harvest Impact, a social financing program of 10C, will award up to $2,000 to each successful submission.

“There’s significant potential to produce food in non-traditional areas, including backyard gardening, container gardening on balconies or rooftops and community food sharing programs,” said Ashlee Cooper, program co-ordinator of Our Food Future in a news release.

Eligible projects must be community-based or led, implemented in Guelph or Wellington County in the 2023 growing season, and have strong community participation and measurable community benefits.

“We’re looking for proposals for projects that will inspire more community food production to help people participate in growing and accessing nutritious food, getting more local food to the table with less environmental impact,” said Julia Grady, executive director of 10C. Grady said that locally grown and distributed food requires less transportation and production such as packaging.

The project leaders are seeking out community members that apply circular principles and practices that will reduce climate impacts, make the most of the food produced by minimizing waste, or find new purpose for food byproducts such as peelings and address social inequities such as food insecurity.

In the release, project leaders said a circular food economy reimagines and regenerates the systems that feed people, eliminating waste, sharing economic prosperity and nourishing communities.

Our Food Future is one of the ways the City of Guelph and County of Wellington are contributing to a sustainable, creative and smart local economy that is connected to regional and global markets, and supports shared prosperity for everyone.

“We’re focused on community resilience as a core outcome and encourage submissions from a range of applicants including equity deserving and rights-bearing groups across Guelph-Wellington,” said Grady.

Previous Our Food Future grant applicants or recipients can apply again to expand their work. Any group looking to establish a new community garden must follow the city or county’s existing approval process, but groups looking to use an existing community garden may apply for grant funding.

Individuals, groups, not-for-profits or businesses can apply through 10C’s secure online portal, Community Agriculture Challenge — Harvest Impact, also accessible at Submissions will be accepted until Monday, Oct. 17, at 5 pm Winners will be announced in late November.

Applicants who are unable to access the internet or who need support can contact [email protected] or 519-780-5030.

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