Oxford Community Foundation providing grants for food security programs

The Oxford and London Community foundations are inviting grant applications for programs that champion food security in the region.

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The two foundations share management of the Maple Leaf Community Fund, which is providing $50,000 this year to support the “capital-related needs” of food-security programs that promote “dignity, and build individual and community capacity”

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The focus for the foundations will be:

  • Food literacy: Programs that provide residents with the information and skills needed to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families;
  • School and other nutrition: Programs that promote, educate and allow students and other access to healthy meals; and
  • Sustainable initiatives beyond conventional food bank models: Programs that provide a reliable supply of nutritious food while promoting self-sufficiency such as community gardens and social-profit enterprises.

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The Maple Leaf Community Fund itself was established to reflect the national company’s local connections. The fund honors the legacy of the late Harvey and Erma Beaty. Harvey Beaty was the founder and owner of Thamesford’s Cold Spring Farms, which grew from a small operation to a major agri-food company and eventually became part of Maple Leaf Foods.

The Thamesford plant — a chicken-processing facility that once employed roughly 400 workers — closed its doors in March 2018 due to what the company called “physical limitations” there.

“We at Oxford Community Foundation fondly remember the farm and the Beatys. Harvey was known for his business acumen, his concern for the environment and his tremendous generosity,” said Louise Wardrop, executive director of the Oxford Community Foundation, in a release. “He would be proud to know of the immense good grants from this fund established for his employees in 1994 continue to make in our community.”

Applications for the fund are due April 2, 2024. To learn more, including how to apply for funding, visit www.oxfordcommunityfoundation.org.

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