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Elgin County Local Food Challenge a Success
  by Katherine Thompson  
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Elgin County Economic Development and the Elgin County Homes have successfully completed the 2013 Local Food Challenge to increase the amount of local food served in Elgin's three long-term care facilities.

"This project highlights Elgin County's commitment to local food and to supporting our local businesses and agricultural producers," said Warden David Marr.

With a $15,000 grant from the Greenbelt Fund, Elgin was able meet its goal of increasing local food purchases in its Homes from 9% in 2012 to 15% in 2013, spending a total of $116,050.30 on local (Ontario) food. The challenge was accomplished by partnering with distributor Sysco to source more local and Ontario food, purchasing directly from local producers, and engaging Homes residents in events such as special dinners and cook-offs featuring local ingredients.

"This partnership between the Economic Development Department and the Elgin County Homes highlights that local food purchases can be increased in facilities," said Business Development Coordinator, Kate Burns Gallagher. "By connecting with local producers for menu items staff and residents were able to make a meaningful and positive connection with the food they were eating and where it came from - something they hope to continue in the future."

"Residents really liked knowing that food they were enjoying was sourced from farmers and distributors within their own communities," added AnneMarie Atkinson, Manager of Support Services at Terrace Lodge.

For more information about the Local Food Challenge or the Greenbelt Fund contact Kate Burns Gallagher at (519) 631-1460 ext. 137 or e-mail

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