The Ottawa Community Foundation launched the New Leaf Community Challenge (NLCC) in 2014 as an innovative way to identify and substantially support strategic approaches to pressing local issues. The NLCC signature event is a juried process that takes place in the fall to select a winning proposal for a special $125,000 grant.
In 2014 and 2015, the focus of the NLCC was on food security within a food systems context. The winning initiative in 2014 was MarketMobile, a traveling market that regularly brings affordable fruit and vegetables to Ottawa neighbourhoods with limited access to fresh produce. In 2015, the Challenge winner was the Deep Roots Food Hub, which is working to expand food systems and food security infrastructure in West Carleton.
The 2016 edition focused on improving the employment situation for young adults in Ottawa, attracting a diverse array of exciting and innovative project submissions.
The winner was LiveWorkPlay (LWP) and its Pie in the Sky initiative which was designed to build on its successful Employment Task Force pilot project. The initiative brings employees with intellectual disabilities and Ottawa employers together for mutual benefit.