The Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization, supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in Ontario and Ontario’s Greenbelt.
The Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail, and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy, and networking initiatives.
The Fund is supported by public and private sources. For more information about the program and grants visit Ontariofresh.ca. For more information on local food visit foodlandontario.ca. For a copy of our annual report, click here.
The Fund focuses on four areas of engagement:
Regional Food Grant Program:
The Regional Food Grant Program has two streams providing financial support to farmers and local food leaders all with the common goal to increase the amount of local food consumed in Ontario.
Broader Public Sector Grant Stream
Focuses on increasing the amount of Ontario food purchased by public institutions such as hospitals, universities, municipal daycares and long-term care facilities, and more.
Market Access Grant Stream
Focuses on increasing market access for small-to-medium sized farmers and processors in order to increase local food choices in grocery stores and restaurants, and public institutions such as hospitals, schools, and cafeterias.
Local Food Education and Outreach:
The Greenbelt Fund increases awareness and understanding of local food issues from farm-to-fork. The Fund provides training tools and resource materials to assist public institutions in identifying, tracking, purchasing, and promoting local food. By sharing success stories and best practices, the Fund provides encouragement to a broad spectrum of food organizations, and ensures local food purchasing continues to expand in the public sector and beyond.
Local Food Policy:
The Greenbelt Fund undertakes analysis of policies and regulations that affect the amount of local Ontario food consumed in the province. The Fund also publishes a series of Green Papers, which address key barriers associated with large-scale local food sourcing.
Local Food Networks:
Creating connections between farmers and local food leaders is the key to moving more local Ontario food throughout the province. The Fund creates these links through a variety of projects including Ontariofresh.ca, the only province-wide online marketing service where wholesale buyers can source a diverse range and volume of Ontario products.
The Fund’s Regional Food Hub Pilot Project will demonstrate how to link a mainstream distributor with a regional aggregator to source and supply local products to customers in their region, providing small and medium sized farmers with access to markets.
To view the Greenbelt Fund's financial statements, click here.
Hours M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
661 Yonge Street
Main Office: 416-960-0001
Hours M-T, Th-F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
8560 Tremaine Road
Main Office: 905-875-2077
Burkhard Mausberg, CEO
As CEO of both the Greenbelt Fund and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Burkhard is a leader in making Ontario’s Greenbelt a successful and popular initiative.
His background includes positions as CEO of environmental organizations that he transformed and grew into important forces for change in public policy, including Environmental Defence Canada, Great Lakes United, and the Environment Fund. He studied Chemistry at the University of Waterloo, Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto, and Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo.
For a complete bio click here.
Kathy Macpherson, Vice President
Kathy brings more than 25 years of management, policy and program development, and evaluation experience in Canada and abroad to her role as Vice President. She worked for 11 years in Southeast Asia, including with the World Bank on poverty reduction and directing a CIDA project to help build evidence-based policy development capacity within the Indonesian government. Prior to that Kathy worked in different Ontario ministries and Ministers’ Offices on a range of policy and program reforms.
For a complete bio click here.
Franco Naccarato, Program Manager (Milton Office)
Franco joined the Fund upon its inception in September 2010 after almost three years as the Supervisor of Foodservice with Foodland Ontario at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. He brings more than 20 years experience in the food industry, including work in retail, restaurants, and distribution with start-ups in both government and not-for-profit organizations. Franco is active in his local community, and has participated in supporting many events such as Game On: Ball Hockey Tournament for Charity, Milton Stands Strong Against Bullying fundraiser, and Zumba Fundraiser for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Megan Hunter, Communications and Program Manager
Megan joined the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Fund in 2010. She is excited to be working to develop markets for local food in the Greenbelt and throughout the province. Coming from a honey producing family in rural Saskatchewan, Megan has a long history of interest and involvement in environmental and agricultural issues. Megan is a University of Toronto graduate with an HBA in International Relations and Environmental Policy with more than a decade experience in sales, communications, public relations, and foodservice. A self-proclaimed foodie, she enjoys sharing food and drink with friends as well as theatre and dance.
Kelly Hughes, Education and Outreach Specialist (Milton Office)
“Local Kelly” came to the Fund in May 2013 from her position as Local Food Procurement Officer at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. An alumna of George Brown College Chef School, Kelly worked for 15 years back-of-house and as a chef in the President’s Choice Test Kitchen. She developed the first Canada Can Cook! student cooking competition for Cuisine Canada, and programmed the Royal Culinary Theatre at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for three seasons. She founded the Guelph Chicken Keepers Association and GO Food Swap, and her writing has appeared in Toronto Life, Edible Toronto, and food service trade magazines. Kelly's hyper-local diet usually includes something from her Guelph urban homestead shared with her family and menagerie of creatures, including four cats.
Brendan Wylie-Toal, Grant Program Specialist (Milton Office)
Brendan’s work experience is broad, ranging from working with large organizations to reduce their carbon footprint, to developing mobile applications to help individuals identify sustainable products, to creating policy recommendations for diverse stakeholder groups to encourage the adoption of sustainability goals. Brendan has been working on sustainable food system issues for several years, and as Grants Specialist for the Greenbelt Fund, he uses this experience to help Regional Food Grant Program grantees maximize their potential. When he's not in the office, Brendan is doing the little things, like rock-climbing at Metcalf Rock, or Captaining a National caliber Ultimate team at tournaments across North America.
Chloe Brown, Program Coordinator
Chloe joined the the Fund in 2013. Previously, Chloe worked for both the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, where her love of Ontario's farms and food blossomed, and The Stop Community Food Centre, where she learned the importance of community food security. Chloe has her BA in environmental studies from McGill University, and her MA in geography from Simon Fraser University, where she researched the effects of climate change in rural communities. She is passionate about sustainable communities - both environmentally and economically - and she believes Greenbelt is the solution. Chloe has lived all over the country, but nothing quite beats her home-province of Ontario, where she loves to hike, bike, and eat throughout the Greenbelt. She is a food-fanatic, and has a (slight) obsession with all things preserving and pickling, especially with fresh Greenbelt fruits and vegetables.
Nuvdeep Dhaliwal, Project Assistant (Milton Office)
Nuvdeep joined the Fund in October 2013. Her volunteer/work experience in the food industry includes The Stop Community Food Centre and Maple Leaf Foods. She holds a diploma in Early Childhood Education as well as an honors Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development. Her passion for food and desire to work in the food industry as it relates to the economy, nutrition, health, and food security issues stems from her travels around the world and experiencing the culinary delights of local cuisines and markets. Additionally, her parents are from Punjab, an agricultural region in India. Visiting their farmlands sparked her interest in understanding where her food comes from. Her pursuit is to use her skills and experiences to combat food security issues among marginalized children and youth.
Jennifer Asselin, Communications Manager
Jennifer has worked on a recurring basis with the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation since 2007. She began as a Communications Assistant as part of the one-year internship program offered by the Foundation. She returned as Communications Manager in the fall of 2008 and came back to work as Communications Manager for the Greenbelt Fund in 2013. Jennifer holds two degrees including a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University. In between her time at the Foundation, she worked in book publishing having received her publishing certificate from New York University. Jennifer’s skills in marketing and publicity were developed throughout her three years as the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Toronto’s International Festival of Authors. In her spare time Jennifer enjoys trying new recipes, reading a good book, and running throughout Toronto’s urban landscape.
Ontariofresh.ca is an online network and marketing service designed to help Ontario businesses buy and sell more local food.
We aim to connect the food value chain and get more local food on Ontario plates.