Announcing New Partnership with FoodShare Toronto!
Starting May 6, 2023, Building Roots will be partnering with FoodShare Toronto as the main supplier of our fresh food at the Moss Park Market. We sat down with Amy Rumbolt, our Manager of Food Programs & Social Responsibility, to learn more about this change.
1. Where does the food from FoodShare come from?
FoodShare’s product list changes from week to week. During the Ontario growing season, they coordinate with growing partners and operations that are owned or led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) folks. Some of the growers and organizations that I’m most familiar with right now are Black Creek Community Farm, Zawadi Farm, and Ubntu Community Collective– but there are many more and I’m excited for us to continue learning about and supporting them however we can.
2. What are the important values that Building Roots share with FoodShare?
One of the main reasons we wanted to partner with FoodShare was because of the values that we shared and wanted to deeper align with. They elevate and support the work of under-represented farmers, specifically, those who are experiencing higher rates of food insecurity in Toronto such as BIPOC communities. FoodShare also creates justice-focused programming that dives into the inequities in Toronto and strengthens communities to lead toward their visions. Through challenging oppressive systems and creating opportunities for access, joy, and possibilities, we feel their work is deeply transformative.
3. Where does the money we pay to FoodShare go?
The money contributes to their Social Enterprise Program, which funds and feeds into their social justice work. This elevates missions such as operating Toronto’s largest non-profit compost program and cultivating more support for urban BIPOC growers. The funds also support community-led food initiatives, advocating for and being a living wage employer, and hands-on education for young folks in school to learn about food justice.
4. What are the expanded food options we will be able to offer at the market (e.g. more in-season food, etc.)?
We will be able to offer more expanded food options such as Asian greens- Tokyo Bekana and Perilla, Nigerian spinach- Efo Shoko, and African eggplant. FoodShare leads with local produce wherever possible so this expands our reach to urban growers and what they are cultivating for the season.
We will also have access to pantry foods that we haven’t offered before. We’re hoping to have specials from time to time depending on FoodShare’s seasonal partnerships, Currently, they are offering products from Raven Rising- Global Indigenous Chocolates. Chef Tami Maki crafts sustainable, ethically sourced, traceable, Fair Trade, and organic ingredients for their chocolate bars that they hand paint. There is also the Black Food Futures box that creates a spotlight on Black businesses and features items such as jerk seasoning from Nerpy’s. These are the kind of expanded options we’re excited to see our market attendees get excited about or interested in! We look forward to providing items that extend our reach, stay culturally appropriate, and support local makers in Toronto.