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The Beet--May Newsletter


My name is Kari Klassen, and I'm taking over from Courtney O’Neill as SCFC’s Community Coordinator. Before saying more, I just wanted to thank Courtney personally for all she has done in what was a massive undertaking in creating infrastructure for this organization. Her shoes are too big for me to fill, but I will do my best to honour what she has started and help to evolve the organization from here.

My background:

I’ve worked for the nonprofit, business, public, and healthcare sectors for most of my adult life. I have some experience in admin but a whole lot more in communications, public relations, and promotions. A former journalist, I moved back into working for causes near and dear to my heart—and food security is a big passion of mine. I’ve also owned my own business sourcing foods from local farms in the Durham and Guelph regions and distributing those products in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, I’ve also been involved with community gardens and urban agriculture. I can usually be recognized as one of the first people in line at my local farmers’ market, gently squeezing and sniffing the produce. I've just moved to Wasaga Beach from Orillia and am excited to check out the local market offerings around here!

The future:

I hope to carry on much of Courtney’s work and perform it with the same dedicated professionalism as she has displayed. While Courtney was necessarily full-time, my hours will be 20 a week, so if there is a bit of a delay in my returning an email to you, that’s likely why. Because of my work background, input from previous meetings, and the incoming strat plan, my focus will likely be more on creating public awareness about what we do and being a bridge builder for people and organizations who want to make a difference in Simcoe County. That said, I will still be supporting meetings in an administrative role as we go forward. Please excuse the inevitable learning curve on this end. I’m very excited to get moving on this work, and I look forward to what we can all build together.

New phase of local infrastructure fund now open

*Excerpt from Sustain Ontario website

A new intake of the Local Food Infrastructure Fund has just opened. Applications are

currently being accepted from May 4 to May 31, 2023 (depending on funding availability).

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF) supports community-led projects that strengthen food systems and help to

facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk Canadians. It was created as part of the Government of Canada’s Food Policy for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada.

Through Budget 2023, LFIF has received an additional $10 million to help increase food security in communities across Canada.

This new phase of LFIF will provide rapid-response funding in the range of $15,000 to $120,000 per project to help improve food security in communities through investments in equipment and infrastructure needs.

Community Win

SMCDSB Experiential Learning Coordination is launching a Three Sisters community garden at St. Joe’s High School in Barrie, including corn, climbing beans, and gourds. There will be a focus on the fall harvest and integration into the curriculum in the fall, allowing students to enjoy the harvest.

SMCDSB is also looking for elementary schools to pilot a similar program.

Community Member Needs

Ryan's Hope is in need of a second fridge for storing our food rescues.

If you have one in good condition you are able to donate, email

Additional Information & Resources

Great Big Crunch a huge success!

On March 9th, over 5,000 participants, including many students and teachers joined politicians and supporters from across Canada for the virtual #GreatBigCrunch where we bit into an apple or other crunchy fruit or vegetable alongside Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould in support of healthy school food.

Throughout the rest of March more than 150,000 people across the country took the Crunch, up from 59,000 last year.

Orillia Fairgrounds Farmer's Market This Saturday is the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers Market’s 10th anniversary! Come on out and help them celebrate this milestone. They have lots of amazing vendors and activities for you and your family and friends to enjoy. Date: May 13th Time: 8 am-1pm Where: 4500 Fairgrounds Road, Severn

Nova Scotia adopting circular food hubs

model tested in Guelph-Wellington

Drawing on models created by Our Food Future and COIL, the National Zero Waste Council and collaborators are leading the development of circular food hubs in mainland Nova Scotia. Circular food hubs in development across the country, such as those underway in Metro Vancouver and Guelph-Wellington, create anchors of activity in the Canadian landscape and contribute to the evolution of a Canada-wide circular food system.

Activities include convening local actors to design a shared circular vision and build a model to weave waste prevention principles through the food hub work currently happening across the province. The project activities will be guided by a five-step process tested through COIL and Our Food Future (pictured).

Place-based circular food hubs are identified as critical to advancing circular food systems and tackle food loss and waste prevention in Canada by following circular economy principles of designing out waste and pollution, circulating resources, and regenerating natural systems.

For more information go to:

Until next time,

Your friends at the Simcoe County Food Council

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