Project selected by jury in Ottawa’s first New Leaf Community Challenge.
Oct. 1, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) – The Ottawa Community Foundation presented a cheque for $125,000 to the Rideau-Rockliffe Community Resource Centre and Ottawa’s Poverty and Hunger Working Group to address issues around food security in the capital. MarketMobile will roll out across the city over the coming months in an effort to improve access to healthy, affordable food for the 75,000 Ottawa residents struggling to feed themselves or their families. It was one of the three top proposals presented to a jury of community leaders and food experts at the city’s first New Leaf Community Challenge on Wednesday at the Canada Agriculture and Farm Museum.
“All the projects presented at today’s Challenge were highly creative, compelling and, most importantly, designed to make a measurable, sustainable difference in our community,” said Marco Pagani, President & CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation. “While I know it was a difficult decision for the jury to make, we have every confidence they’ve made the best possible choice to allow us to begin making systemic change in the area of food security in the Ottawa region.”
Developed by the Poverty and Hunger Working Group, MarketMobile builds on the success of Ottawa’s Good Food Markets, local pop-up markets that sell food at cost in areas with low access to affordable, healthy food. MarketMobile takes this program further by using wholesalers and partners to bring at-cost food directly into specific low-income communities using a vehicle so that markets can be set up in any community with higher populations of citizens who struggle with access to food. While a pilot project using a leased OC Transpo bus has proven to be successful in a limited number of neighbourhoods, the Community Foundation grant will allow the project to be expanded to four new sites, hire a full-time coordinator and begin year-round operation with a designated vehicle and trailer in January 2015.
Designed to inspire and support Ottawa’s non-profit sector to address Ottawa’s most pressing needs, the New Leaf Community Challenge has attracted a wide range of local champions and supporters. As one of the Foundation’s most active and highly engaged donors, law professor and public health expert David Sweanor has taken on the role of jury foreman for the event. “When the Foundation first approached me about this initiative, I really saw it as an opportunity to foster new and innovative approaches to tackling some of this city’s most critical issues,” said David. “I believe it will be a vital tool for inspiring social innovation by allowing the Foundation to both incubate and celebrate community entrepreneurship.”
“I would like to salute the tremendously valuable work the Ottawa Community Foundation is doing to build a stronger, more caring community through initiatives like the New Leaf Community Challenge,” said Alex Benay, President & CEO of the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. “The wide range of innovative proposals we heard here today remind me of how the museum tells the stories of scientific and technological advances that have made this country one of the most productive agricultural nations on earth. Yet, despite living in a land of plenty, we see far too many people struggling to access the basic need of nutritious food. I look forward to seeing how the MarketMobile project can make a real and lasting difference in our community.”
For more information about the MarketMobile and the New Leaf Community Challenge, visit https://www.ocf-fco.ca/new-leaf-community-challenge/.
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 $100-million and has provided more than $70-million in grants to the community since its inception. For more information about the Ottawa Community Foundation, visit www.cfo-fco.ca.
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