At Just Food – March 31 2020
2020 CGN Newsletter #4
Community Gardens Must Remain OPEN
as Essential Food Services in Ontario
To All Gardeners and Supporters in Ottawa,
Your support is URGENTLY needed TODAY!
Last night the Ontario government mistakenly identified community gardens as recreation activities for closure, as opposed to essential food services, where tens of thousands of people across Ontario grow food for their households.
Please send your own version of the letter below to your local MPP ASAP today, and copy Just Food at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can see how many letters are coming in.
If you are a member of a community garden, please say which garden you belong to, and why it’s important to you to access food through your garden plot.
Your list of MPPs in the Ottawa area:
Stephen Blais – Orléans – email@example.com
Lucille Collard – Ottawa – Vanier – firstname.lastname@example.org
John Fraser – Ottawa South – Jfraser.email@example.com
Hon Merrilee Fullerton – Kanata-Carleton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldie Ghamari – Carleton – email@example.com
Joel Harden – Ottawa Centre – JHarden-QP@ndp.on.ca
Hon Lisa MacLeod – Nepean – Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Roberts – Ottawa West – Nepean – email@example.com
To read more about Gardening and COVID-19 in Ottawa, CLICK HERE.
Suggested letter template
To [name of your Member of Provincial Parliament or all MPPs if you are a City-wide service],
Everyone is working hard, and we are trusting this is just an oversight, but please immediately remove outdoor community gardens from the list of closures for recreation activities released last night, and place them on the list of essential food services in Ontario.
Thousands upon thousands of families rely on community gardens to produce food for their families each year. In Ottawa, we have a conservative accounting of 7,000 people relying on community gardens to supplement their food during the growing season. There has been a major increase in demand for this service since the beginning of COVID-19. People throughout the province have already invested in their seeds, and started seedlings, for this growing season.
This model of community food production is seen as integral to the COVID-19 response in countries throughout the world, particularly as food prices increase and global food supplies are increasingly uncertain. Food banks also receive tonnes of much-needed fresh food in Ottawa from local community garden efforts. Community gardening availability should be enhanced, not limited, especially at this time.
The Ottawa Community Gardening Network at Just Food is working with public health departments to achieve safety protocols informed by public safety requirements and is a key partner in communicating critical public health messages to our communities. We all take safety seriously.
Please take immediate action today to clarify for everyone in Ontario that community gardening is an essential food service.
Thanks very much!