Feeding Our City: Professors Sharma, Bender and Pilcher receive COVID-19 research funding

April 30, 2020 by Amy Ratelle

Congratulations to PI Jayeeta (Jo) Sharma, co-PIs Dan Bender and Jeffrey Pilcher (Culinaria Research Centre) and other faculty from UofT and Ryerson, on their successful funding application under the Scarborough and Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative.

The project, titled Feeding our City, Pandemic & Beyond: Documenting Food System Experiences, Community Challenges & Local Resilience, Actions toward Sustainable Food Solutions, will provide “near-term results (from one month to 12 months) […] with strong potential to positively impact individuals, communities and public health systems,” according to the notice of award.

Sharma notes, the project is “motivated by substantial problems that have emerged due to the pandemic, such as increasing food insecurity, food supply chain disruptions, and labour shortages in food production and processing. It also intends to document community solutions and public policy initiatives that have emerged to respond to this unique crisis and that can serve as longer-term solutions.”

The main community partners are Toronto Urban Growers and Coalition for Healthy School Food, but the project will also document the work of other groups such as the National Farmers Union, Toronto Food Policy Council, Second Harvest, Ontario Food Terminal, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives, and urban farmer markets. The team welcomes expressions of interest to join in their work.