Erica Arnett 0

Buy Local, Buy Fresh

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We, the people who live work and play in Elgin County and in the City of St. Thomas value a healthy and sustainable community for all. One very important determinant of creating a healthy and sustainable community is food.  Food is a foundation for strengthening the economy, improving health, and building a vibrant community.  To support this vision of a sustainable healthy community, we strive to ensure that everyone has an adequate supply of safe, accessible, culturally appropriate food that meets their dietary needs. We believe that this vision is only possible through collaboration and partnership.


We agree with the United Nations Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights acknowledges the right for all to have access to adequate food. Furthering this basic tenet, we will work together to build a vibrant, sustainable, food secure community. We believe health, education, sustainable economic development, environment, culture and social justice are key priorities as we create a just and sustainable food system for all.


Because we value Health, we support…

  • Public policy that recognizes food’s contribution to physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing.

  • Making local food readily accessible for our rural and urban residents.

  • Strategies to prevent and manage chronic disease through access to affordable healthy food.

  • Local foods for their higher food safety standards, less distance travelled, less spoilage, less damage to the product and fresher, more nutritious food.

  • Strategies to promote and implement safe food handling practices to prevent food borne illness.

  • Food production methods that protect sources of drinking water.

Because we value Education, we support...

  • Initiatives that develop food skills.

  • Programs that train future farmers, growers and gardeners.

  • The integration of food literacy and gardening into school curricula.

  • Public education and the relationship between our health, the environment, and our food choices.

  • Educating people about the impact of local food choices (power of the individual).

  • The need to understand benefits of buying local food.

  • Education about the high standards to which Canadian food producers must comply.

Because we value Sustainable Economic Development, we support …

  • Prioritizing production, processing, distribution, and consumption of local food.

  • Promoting our region as a food, agricultural, and culinary destination.

  • Advancing food and agriculture research and innovation for alternative food systems.

  • Buying local and minimizing fuel consumption.

  • Diversification of the locally grown food.

Because we value Environment, we support…

  • The preservation of local farmland that protects watersheds and wildlife habitat.

  • The growth of food production methods that sustain or enhance the natural environment in both rural and urban settings.

  • Decreasing carbon foot prints, CO2 emissions, and fuel consumption that comes with shorter distances to transport foods.

Because we value Culture, we support…

  • Celebrating and promoting respect for traditional, cultural, and spiritual food diversity.

  • Promoting the dignity and joy of growing, preparing and eating food.

  • Strengthening links between the farm and the table.


Because we value Social Justice, we support…

  • Identifying healthy food as a social right and ensuring access regardless of income.

  • Championing a fair wage for the production of local food, and a safe and respectful environment for all food workers.

  • Helping to ensure land access for the growing of local food.

  • Advocating for income, education, employment, housing and transportation policies that support access to healthy, sustainable food.


Local Community Gardens and Community Supported Agriculture Programs - The Health Unit provides a list of community garden and CSA contacts within Elgin St. Thomas.

Savour Elgin - Savour Elgin is a program with a goal to promote and enhance culinary tourism in Elgin County and St. Thomas. The Savour Elgin trail is a route through Elgin County that visits some of the best restaurants, farms, wineries, and other culinary attractions that focus on food and drink that’s local and unique to Elgin County and St. Thomas.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Buy Local, Buy Fresh Map - Buy Local Buy Fresh is a partnership between Elgin County, the Elgin Business Resource Centre, Horton Farmers Market, the Elgin Federation of Agriculture and the West Elgin Community Health Centre. The map features over 50 farms within Elgin County that offer fresh produce. The farms are categorized into; Fruits and Vegetables and Herbs, Meats, Wineries, Honey and Syrup, and Markets. 

Walk through the supermarket with a registered dietitian to learn tips on making nutritious food choices, finding best buys and reading food labels. Tours take 1 to 1 ½ hours. Gather 5 to 8 people and arrange your FREE tour by contacting: 519-631-9900 extension 1246 or


Foodland Ontario Look for the symbol when you shop, to easily identify Ontario foods in grocery stores, farmers’ markets… Check out its guide to seasonal availability of produce and the recipes.


Sustain Ontario is a province-wide, cross-sectoral alliance that promotes healthy food and farming. Sustain Ontario takes a collaborative approach to research, policy development and action by addressing the intersecting issues related to healthy food and local sustainable agriculture. Sustain Ontario is working towards a food system that is healthy, ecological, equitable and financially viable.


Ontario Meat and Poultry - Are you looking for a specialty meat? Or where you can buy the best salami in town? Or for locations supporting Homegrown Ontario? It's all right here! Simply enter your search terms and discover some of the best meat and poultry suppliers in Ontario!


Local Food Plus - Local Food Plus (LFP) is Canada’s premier solutions provider for local sustainable procurement.


Thinking about preserving the harvest?  Consider these tips when freezing or canning.

Calculate the cost of the nutritious food basket for you and your family . The nutritious food basket is a report to inform service providers, decision makers and the general public how difficult it is for low income families and individuals to purchase enough healthy food to eat when other fixed costs, like shelter, are factored in.


Hellmann's video created to raise awareness of the importance of buying and eating locally grown and produced food.


Canada's Food Guide for Healthy Eating


The Canadian Organic Growers is Canada’s oldest organic organization.  To learn more what organic means visit their website.

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