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Food programs get U of T Scarborough to think local

It was a busy year for local food programs on campus. This event, called Local Fall Flavours, allowed UTSC students to take part in a hands-on cooking demonstration on how to prepare healthy food on a budget using local ingredients. (Submitted Photo)

It was a banner year for local food purchases by the University of Toronto Scarborough.  

UTSC was able to increase its share local food purchases to 40 per cent thanks in large part to funding from a non-profit group that supports local food initiatives across the Province.

“Many of the students who took part in our programs and food demonstrations were amazed at how easy and affordable it is to cook with local ingredients,” says Michele Cheh, project coordinator with the Office of Business Development. “It’s clear that students want more local food choices and we’re glad the programs from this past year were such a great success.”

Last year, UTSC was one of 10 institutions across Ontario to receive support from the Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization that supports local food initiatives in public institutions, retail and foodservice markets. The funds went towards further increasing the percentage of local food purchases as well as supporting unique programming and demonstrations.

Cheh says many of the programs will continue to run this year including farm tours and cooking demonstrations, while a local food option will also be available for catering options on campus.

Other local food highlights from last year include:

Local Fall Flavours – In collaboration with Culinaria, a hands-on cooking demonstration showed students how to cook on a budget using local, healthy ingredients.

Bee Talk and Tour – UTSC’s resident beekeeper Brian Hamlin spoke about the importance of bees in global food production while also giving a tour of the UTSC beehives.

Local Food Wednesdays – Two Wednesdays per month Aramark featured a dish using a local ingredient.

Apple Day at the Farmers’ Market – This initiative taught students about the variety of apples in Ontario.

© University of Toronto Scarborough