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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Institutions Should Buy Local

Grey Bruce | by Jon Meyer  

Meeting today will focus on schools, long term care homes buying Grey Bruce food.

Much like the weather, the local food movement in Grey and Bruce is heating up.

The Health Unit is hosting a closed meeting from 1 PM to 3 PM on Wednesday, where speakers will encourage the largest public sector institutions to buy local fresh food.

Representatives from Georgian College, Public Health, Grey County long term care and the Public/French and Catholic School Boards' are attending.

Discussion will focus around getting the ten largest public sector institutions to develop local food purchasing plans.

Timing is fitting seeing as over the past six months each institution assessed their food services programs.

Local Food and Sustainable Agriculture Consultant Kristine Hammel will be speaking about the Grey Bruce Broader Public Sector Investment Fund Project.

Hammel tells Bayshore Broadcasting News she will discuss the role local food plays currently, and what the possibilities are in the future.

Although the role may be small at the moment, Hammel notes Grey County long-term care facilities buy local beef and others are making small inroads.

The biggest challenge that's stunting purchasing growth according to Hammel is getting food from the backyard to the institution.

Hammel says they need volume and a consistency of product that perhaps individual consumers of local food don't need.

She will present the findings of the Grey Bruce Broader Public Sector Investment Fund Project and hopes the meeting will spur commitments and timelines that can be benchmarked.


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