November 6, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced that Food Banks Canada has launched the $2.3 million Rural and Northern Capacity Fund. Minister Bibeau made the announcement alongside Gudie Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and Kirsten Beardsley of Food Banks Canada. This initiative is being funded under the first round of the $200 million Emergency Food Security Fund, and will help address food insecurity in communities or regions that are currently underserved.
Organizations in rural and northern areas can receive help under the initiative to develop or improve infrastructure that helps get food to vulnerable people. This includes supporting the purchase, transportation and distribution of food, hiring additional staff and undertaking small-scale construction projects. Food Banks Canada is now accepting applications for funding from community or charitable organizations, Indigenous groups and not-for-profit co-operatives. The funding will target the gaps in food security services in rural and northern communities in relation to the previous funding allocated under the Emergency Food Security Fund.
COVID-19 has presented significant challenges to communities across Canada, and particularly for Canadians facing food insecurity. It has highlighted the importance of local food organizations, the need to continue to support them, and the crucial services Canadians rely upon to be safe and healthy.
The initial Emergency Food Security Fund was launched in April and provided $100 million to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity in Canada because of COVID-19. To date, the funding has offered support to more than 1,800 individual projects in communities across Canada, which is estimated to have helped serve over two million Canadians with six million meals.