PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY — Pundits expect a federal election call any day now, and it was Prince Edward County and Eastern Ontario’s turn for some federal largesse on the food refrigeration front, July 31st.
The Prince Edward County Food Hub was among seven Eastern Ontario organizations awarded a combined $338,708. Its share was $74,350 for a walk-in cooler, gas-powered steam kettle, reach-in blast chiller and a variety of small kitchen appliances as well as installation labour. The Hub is a not-for-profit commercial kitchen that services small-scale food operations, caterers, food truck proprietors, restaurants, and not-for-profit food security organizations.
MP Neil Ellis announced the contribution on behalf of Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Funds are flowing through her department’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund — earmarked for the purchase and install of freezers, coolers, storage equipment and LED lighting systems related to community food initiatives.
Other recipients include:
- The Community Training and Development Centre for Innovation and Improvement is receiving up to $23,526 for a blast chiller and a dehydrator to further maximize meals’ nutritional value through blast freezing.
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes is receiving up to $30,238 for energy-efficient refrigeration and freezer units, commercial dishwashers, commercial sink, faucet, shelving units, stainless steel work tables and small kitchenware.
- The Nourish & Develop Foundation received up to $45,550 for a Mobile Food Market by retrofitting an existing van into a refrigerated vehicle, as well as the purchase and retrofit of a cargo trailer to act as a market stand.
- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul received up to $17,000 for the purchase of a new 7’x7′ walk-in cooler to replace the current aging cooler that became inefficient, allowing them to provide fresh food to those in need of assistance.
- The Renfrew and District Food Bank received up to $101,542 for a refrigerated cargo vehicle, the purchase of food handling and storage equipment, and the construction of an irrigated community garden that will provide an additional source of fresh and nutritious food for the food bank.
- The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre is receiving up to $46,502 for the acquisition of equipment, including a LED lighting system and a commercial refrigerator to produce crops at full capacity, doubling their production of nutrient-dense microgreens year-round in their existing greenhouse.
The government says projects and final funding are subject to negotiation of a contribution agreement.
The news follows a recent $10-million top-up to the Fund, which is supporting $23 million in projects in 2021-22.
“The government of Canada is providing the necessary equipment and tools to improve food security in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ellis.