York Region Food Network (YRFN) was initially established in 1986 as a multi-agency organized to coordinate food drives and act as a liaison between food banks and agencies in York Region with food access programs.
Over the years, York Region Food Network has expanded its mandate in an effort to raise the public consciousness on the issue of food security. York Region Food Network has become involved in many community initiatives aiming to increase access to fresh, affordable, nutritious food for all people in York Region.
In 1990, YRFN began promoting the idea of school snack programs. YRFN continues to provide support to local schools and community agencies in starting breakfast, snack and/or lunch programs for children and youth. Over the years, YRFN has helped 14 schools set up programs. YRFN is also a partner with the York Region Food for Learning Group.
In 1993, YRFN started their first community garden project in the town of Markham. Since that time, additional community gardens have begun in Newmarket and Aurora. Small plots of land are available for local residents to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables.
Today, York Region Food Network seeks to be an acknowledged and respected centre for the promotion of food security – a healthy, accessible and sustainable food system in York Region. In support of this vision, YRFN works to raise public awareness on the many issues affecting food security such as affordable housing, adequate employment, education, accessible childcare and social assistance policies through programming, outreach and advocacy initiatives. For example, we publish a bi-annual newsletter, maintain statistics on food drive collection totals and food bank use, and are involved in a wide variety to awareness campaigns.