You already believe in supporting your favourite local farmers, restaurants, and retailers—now you can play an even bigger role in growing Ontario’s local food scene.
The Ontario Local Food Advocate Influencer Network is made up of people just like you. Together, we can grow a local food sector that supports healthy communities and a vibrant food future in Ontario.
Becoming a local food advocate or influencer is an great way to show your support for local food and farmers—and it’s never been easier! You decide the level of involvement you want to have and you decide what types of activities best suit you and your busy schedule.
ALREADY INVOLVED WITH US? Here’s where you can find great resources to help you advocate for local food and get connected with other advocates in Ontario!
The Ontario Local Food Advocate Influencer Network is being developed to support professional and social community leaders voice their support for local food and to promote the benefits that local food brings to your communities. We’re working together to assess needs and deliver tools for you to use as you champion local food in your daily life. Here’s how you can get involved and become a Network member.
STEP 1: GET CONNECTED
By completing our survey, you’re getting connected with a network of people just like you who are passionate about local food. From there, you’ll be offered the opportunity to get involved in the capacity that suits you, and will be kept in the loop as we move forward with the development of resources and toolkits informed by Network-member needs.
Network-members are coming together and expressing what they need to better communicate their passion for local food. With your input, through events in your area or online discussion platforms, the Network collective will decide the direction for resource creation and what tools can be created to better support your advocacy efforts.
STEP 3: GET SUPPORT
Whether you get involved in the brainstorm and Network-member consultation process, you will have unlimited access to the materials that are available from Network partners and other members, as well as the new resources and tools that are being developed by the National Farmers Union-Ontario as a result of your input and feedback.
The Ontario Local Food Advocate Influencer Network is here to make your life easier and your advocacy efforts more effective. We’d love to hear from you at any stage of the process. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the NFU-O team by contacting email@example.com or 1-888-832-9638.
Many community and professional leaders are joining the Network to help support local food in Ontario.
Anne Marie Males, Healthcare / Education
As VP of Patient Experience at The Scarborough Hospital, Anne Marie Males had heard all the jokes about hospital food. “Strangely, in the health-care industry, we’ve kind of forgotten about the connection between food and health.” So she decided to do something about it: she re-tooled the hospital’s cafeteria to focus on fresh, healthy meals involving local food. Patients loved it, and other healthcare institutions have begun to follow that example. Ms. Males is now a professor at Humber College. [https://ca.linkedin.com/in/anne-marie-males-67664611]
Wendy Luella Perkins, Faith / Arts
A Unitarian Universalist community minister and musician, the Reverend Wendy Luella Perkins works at the intersection of food, faith, and friendship. “I’ve lived in Kingston for over twenty years, but it wasn’t until I got connected with local farmers through the National Farmers Union in 2004, that I really felt PART of the community here. I love knowing, supporting and promoting the folks who bring ecologically grown food from their fields to my fork!” She has organized countless events supporting local food, started a community garden, and created art and music to help eaters develop a stronger connection to farms and farmers. You can find more at [http://www.
Sarah Harmer, Arts / Music
Beloved singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer has used her popularity and musical talents to protect farmland from development, to defend the Niagara Escarpment and support the campaign to restore Canada’s prison farms.“We work on local issues because you can effect change more easily than you can on the bigger level. That’s why people really have to come together en masse.” You can follow her work at [https://twitter.com/sarah_har
“While our National Farmer’s Union-Ontario farmer members are hard at work growing the good food that nourishes our province, our eater-members are stepping up to the plate to show their support for our local farmers and the good that they’re growing. We’re better together, and together we can grow the local food industry to increase availability and offering of our local bounty throughout the province.” – Emery Huszka, NFU-O President
The Ontario Local Food Advocate Influencer Network is supported by the Government of Ontario, in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund, and the National Farm Foundation. The Greenbelt Fund supports many local food projects and programs in Ontario, including Ontariofresh.ca, an online marketplace for connecting local food producers and buyers.