Now more than ever access to good nutrition is important, but sometimes it can be difficult. Ottawa Public Library brings together this collection of resources to help you find local foods and food services. From practical information about how to access different local food producers, to finding a delivery service, to information about nutrition and different recipes, these are key resources to help you during this challenging time.
Safe food and good nutrition are important to Canadians. Maintaining the safety of Canada’s food supply is a shared responsibility among government, food industry and consumers. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is one of the best ways to protect and promote good health. This site from the Government of Canada provides information about food product recalls, Canada’s Food Guide and guidance about COVID-19 and food.
Ottawa Public Health offers tips and tricks for grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking during the pandemic. This site has great information about emergency planning at any time, but it is especially helpful when trying to keep your trips out of the house down to a minimum. You will also find links to local resources for those who may be struggling with food insecurity, as well as links to information about local food delivery options.
Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of our city. Many local businesses have had to close their physical locations, but many are adapting to continue to serve their customers during this period of uncertainty. You can help make a difference by supporting them. The City of Ottawa along with local community Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) have put together resources to help you find and buy local.
Do you need help with your groceries? Bag-Half-Full is a grocery and household item delivery service. Founded and organized by Canadian medical students, their mission is to promote community health and protect vulnerable populations. Place an order if you are unable to go to grocery stores yourself during the pandemic (e.g. elderly, immunocompromised, or in quarantine due to recent travel or possible exposure to COVID-19). Bag-Half-Full accepts e-transfers, cash and cheque and there is no delivery or service fee. Volunteers have police and background checks. Customers can either complete the online form or contact the organization at 819-635-5895 to place an order. Their website and order form are currently provided in English, but they can connect you with a bilingual volunteer for services in French. If you are interested in volunteering for Bag-Half-Full, fill out their recruitment form.
The Champlain Health Network works with people of all ages to ensure they can make informed choices about their health care. They have useful information about local community support service agencies and can link people to these services. The Champlain Health Network has also compiled a list of shopping and grocery assistance available specifically for seniors and people with disabilities.
If you are looking for reliable information about food, nutrition and health, then turn to Dieticians of Canada. This is a national association of recognized nutritional professionals, who provide trustworthy and credible advice about the potential of food to enhance lives and improve health. They provide general advice about food and nutrition during the pandemic, as well as other interesting articles about food and its impact on the immune system.
The Council on Aging of Ottawa is a bilingual, volunteer-based charitable organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of seniors living in Ottawa. They provide excellent information for seniors and other vulnerable and isolated individuals on finding nutritious, safe food options during this time. Their article “Food for thought: Getting the food you need”, is a good summary of local meal delivery options, food safety information, senior shopping hours, accessing ethno-cultural, and affordable food during this time.
The Ottawa Food Bank provides fresh and non-perishable food, as well as supplies such as diapers, toiletries and cleaning supplies to its network of over 100 emergency food programs across the city. Search to find where you can access food through your Local Community Food Program. Looking to help out? Click here to learn about how you can contribute to food relief efforts in Ottawa.
211 is a helpline and online database of Ontario’s community and social services. The 2-1-1 help line is available 24 hours a day, in over 150 languages. 211 Eastern Region Ontario offers an exhaustive listing of organizations that are offering food assistance with up to date notes about how the organization is dealing with the pandemic.
Good Food Ottawa is a website offered by Just Food, a grassroots, non-profit, community based organization, working towards secure access to food for all members of society. Whether you’re struggling to buy food or are financially secure, Good Food Ottawa offers information for everyone. Their FoodLink Directory points to food and nutrition programs and services in Ottawa, such as delivery services, meals on wheels programs, food banks, and more!
Savour Ottawa is an initiative of Ottawa Tourism, Just Food and the City of Ottawa. Savour Ottawa recognizes our city as a culinary tourism destination and works to promote our food industry to visitors and locals. Savour Ottawa provides a Buy Local Food Guide, that has up-to-date information about local producers and retailers of local food products. This site has an interactive map that lets you search for specific farms, producers or products.
Half Your Plate is an initiative led by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Cancer Society to improve fruit and vegetable consumption in Canada. They encourage people to fill at least half their plates with fruits and vegetables. Half Your Plate’s COVID-19 Resources page offers resources on handling, storing and freezing fruits and veggies, as well as a wonderful selection of recipes to keep you cooking throughout the pandemic.
Edible Ottawa celebrates local food culture season by season, community by community. Their mission is to connect the community with seasonal and locally grown goods. They produce a free publication that is distributed at quality grocery stores, specialty food stores, farmers’ markets and other retailers. They focus on the Ottawa area, Prince Edward County and Eastern Ontario. Edible Ottawa has assembled a list of grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops and farms that are producing during the pandemic.