Serving Up Local II: An Economic Analysis

The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance is continuing our work on local food procurement in Ontario’s long-term care sector with the project Serving Up Local II: An Economic Analysis (SULEA).

The SULEA project is the second phase of GHFFA’s incredibly successful Serving Up Local Project (SUL), a partnership project with the Regions of Durham and Halton and the City of Hamilton that saw a combined increase of 23% in local food purchasing in 9 long-term-care homes. This new research project is a partnership between GHFFA and the University of Guelph’s Department of Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics (FARE) and School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, funded by OMAFRA, and collaborating with 22 long-term care (LTC) homes in Ontario to understand the impacts of a local food priority. The SULEA research explores the economic impact on LTC homes who increased their local food purchasing, and if a local food priority, combined with a greater emphasis on food tracking, led to purchasing choices that align with food and nutrition goals and quality protocols for long-term care. Research results are intended to assist the province in setting realistic goals for Broader Public Sector local food procurement under the third pillar of the Local Food Act and to shape recommendations to the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care.

The project offers learning events and webinars on topics related to local food procurement to staff in healthcare.

Upcoming #LocalFoodinHealthcare Webinars

Stay tuned.


Past Webinars

December 5, 2019
Local Food in Healthcare Strategy in Halton Region Long-Term Care:


February 11, 2021
Serving Up Local II Webinar: #LocalFoodinHealthcare – Big, local ideas to unlock the potential of our healthcare food systems

The Serving Up Local II: An Economic Analysis (SULEA) research project webinar series continues, this time in conjunction with the Canadian Society of Nutrition Managers (CSNM).

In long-term care and healthcare facilities across Ontario, Nutrition Managers and Supply professionals are pushing beyond the status quo of acceptable food at acceptable prices, by using local food purchasing and tracking to find far-reaching results. Local food procurement and food purchase tracking is proving to be a solid strategy to better understand opportunities to improve healthcare food. These practices can lead to better managed budgets, better quality food for residents and patients, and an informed staff team that feels empowered to be active participants in their food system.

In this webinar, you will hear from Marianne Katusin, Manager of Support Services at Halton Healthcare, and Dan Munshaw, Manager of Supply Management at the City of Thunder Bay. They each have a story to tell about how they boldly revitalized purchasing practices in Ontario hospitals and LTC, and harnessed their potential to revolutionize institutional food. We will hear how inspired food system visioning; empowered food service and distribution contracts; and improved protocols on food category tracking led to a transformation in their food systems – a change that residents and patients could taste! They will share the common barriers to overcome, proven tools for change, and the positive outcomes they saw for resident and patient food quality. Their experience over the last year paints a picture of local food supply staying steadfast in the procurement storm created by the Covid-19 pandemic – a timely reminder of the powerful potential of buying food grown close to home. Supply Managers and Nutrition Managers alike will benefit from this talk.


For more information about the SULEA project please contact co-investigators, Soni Craik Christie or Stephanie Crocker