The Ottawa Community Foundation to fund initiative that measurably
bridges gap between local food systems and access to nutritious, affordable food.

Sept. 22, 2015 (Ottawa, ON) – The Ottawa Community Foundation is kicking off its second New Leaf Community Challenge today by inviting the non-profit sector to bring forward fresh and innovative ways to improve food security for the thousands of local residents struggling to meet this basic need. This second year of funding in support of a more food-secure Ottawa reflects the Foundation’s commitment to fostering systemic, sustainable progress on key issues affecting the city’s quality of life, and its intention to mobilize key community resources in support of that goal.

The Ottawa Community Foundation launched its first New Leaf Community Challenge in 2014 as an innovative way to identify and support new approaches to tackling pressing issues. With food security identified as the initial issue to address with the program, the Foundation held its first live, juried Challenge event at the Canada Food and Agriculture Museum last fall, ultimately presenting a $125,000 grant to Ottawa’s Poverty and Hunger Working Group to fund its groundbreaking MarketMobile initiative. Building on the success of Ottawa’s pop-up Good Food Markets, MarketMobile brings fresh, at-cost food directly into targeted low-income communities. With the help of the Foundation’s New Leaf grant, organizers were able to buy and retro-fit a designated truck and trailer, and expand their services to twice as many neighbourhoods on a year-round basis. (More information about the 2014 Challenge and MarketMobile is available here.)

This year’s strategic grant will fund an initiative that will tangibly strengthen the relationship between local food systems and food security, contributing to the longer-term development and resilience of local food systems. “With this second New Leaf grant, the Community Foundation will have invested a quarter-million dollars into tackling issues around food security in our city through this program alone,” says Marco Pagani, President & CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation. “By so doing, we’re signaling our serious commitment to working with the community to find real and lasting solutions to this critical problem in our city.”

The Community Foundation is accepting five-page Expressions of Interest from charitable organizations and partnering groups until Oct. 29. Proposals can be focused on improving one of more aspects of Ottawa’s local food system network that serve formal and/or informal food economies, and that help make healthy and affordable food available to Ottawa residents experiencing food insecurity. “Local food systems” refers to networks that connect food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management. “Food security” is defined as the state of having reliable access to sufficient affordable, nutritious food. For more information about the New Leaf Community Challenge, visit

Established in 1987, the Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. It connects donors who care with causes that matter and serves as a trusted resource for addressing issues and leveraging opportunities in the community. Priding itself in enabling generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community and to achieve their own charitable objectives, the Community Foundation currently manages assets worth over $112-million and has provided close to $90-million in grants to the community since its inception. For more information about the Ottawa Community Foundation, visit

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For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Iona Green
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Ottawa Community Foundation
(B) 613-236-1616 X 232
(C) 613-408-1616