Circular Food Innovators Fund by The City of Toronto
$5,000 to $35000 Grant Opportunity for food-based small businesses and organizations in Toronto to implement reuse systems. Application closes on February 27th, 2024.
As part of Toronto’s Long-Term Waste Management Strategy, The City of Toronto is accepting applications for its Circular Food Innovators Fund Program as part of its work to implement innovative zero-waste business models for food-based small businesses in Toronto.
About the Program
The Circular Food Innovators Fund aims to support local small businesses (for-profit and not-for-profit businesses) in implementing reuse systems that replace single-use and takeaway items with reusable food service ware that is collected and redistributed for further use.
What is a Reuse System?
A business model in which reusable foodservice ware, provided to customers by a business for the delivery or takeaway consumption of food, is collected, cleaned, and redistributed back for reuse by the business. Reusable foodservice ware includes plates, bowls, cups, trays, glasses, straws, stirrers, condiment cups, and utensils that are made of durable materials to stand up to frequent washing and reuse.
A reuse system can be operated by a service provider or a business selling food for delivery or takeaway consumption. A reuse system may include not only the reusable foodservice ware itself but also the infrastructure, such as collection bins and cleaning facilities, and support technology, such as mobile applications to coordinate reverse logistics of reusable foodservice ware or barcode tracking systems for the reusable foodservice ware.
A maximum of $250,000 is available for the first phase of the Fund, and eligible small businesses or organizations can receive funds starting from $5,000 and up to a maximum of $35,000
Organizations/Applicants eligible for funding include
For-profit businesses, including business-to-business and business-to-consumer models
Registered charitable and not-for-profit organizations, including Business Improvement Areas and academic institutions
The applicant must be a business that provides at least one of the following services or must be a Business Improvement Area or academic institution that is working with a business that provides at least one of the following services:
Food and beverage products for takeaway consumption, which may include food distributed by vendors at public markets and events or
Food and beverage products for delivery, which may include catering services or
Reuse system infrastructure for food businesses.
Other criteria include
The business must be a small business (i.e., less than 99 employees) (excluding academic institutions) and must be located within the boundaries of Toronto.
Any services funded through the Fund must take place within the boundaries of Toronto, except for services being delivered by urban off-reserve Indigenous-led organizations that may provide culturally-based programming outside the boundaries of Toronto.
NOTE THAT: Reuse systems involving dine-in consumption are not eligible for funding.
HOW TO APPLY
For more information on the Fund, view the original article, complete list of eligibility criteria, and fund guidelines on the City of Toronto’s website. Click the link below to navigate the site and submit your application.
Applications for this program are due by Friday, February 27th, 2024.
The City of Toronto hosts two information sessions about the Fund on January 25th and February 13th. You can register for the January information session here.
As always, we will keep you posted on any relevant grant programs and contests for small businesses and organizations within the province!
In the meantime, if you are looking for a place to find black-owned, indigenous-owned, and small businesses in Ontario, you can subscribe and be notified when our beta launches.