New Market Greens program to provide fresh, affordable food in St. James Town & Moss Park Community  

Image of person holding a Food for Good bag, against a leafy green background
Partnership between Sherbourne Health and Community Food Centres Canada helps promote health and well-being in low-income communities 

Toronto, Ontario, May 10, 2022 | Sherbourne Health today announced it will open a new year-round, community-based market offering fresh, affordable produce to community members living on low incomes. Sherbourne Health is one of 15 organizations across the country receiving a grant from Community Food Centres Canada to offer Market Greens over the next two years.  

Through Market Greens, Sherbourne Health aims to support community members to access and afford fresh produce, increase their fruit and vegetable consumption, and, ultimately, improve their health and wellbeing. 

To date, the program has been implemented in 28 communities across Canada and has supported more than 1,000 households to access fresh fruits and vegetables. 

“I am so pleased that the hard work of our staff to increase food access for the community has been recognized by Community Food Centres Canada,” says Hazelle Palmer, President and CEO of Sherbourne Health. “With this generous funding, Sherbourne Health will be able to go even further to address food insecurity.” 

Another unique aspect of the program is Greens Prescriptions (Greens Rx) – a voucher for fresh produce that can be redeemed at the community market. These prescriptions are available to support people who are managing chronic and diet-related illnesses, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  

Diet-related illnesses are a leading risk factor for death and disability in Canada, with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes being a contributing factor in the death of approximately 41,500 Canadians each year.1

Research consistently shows that Canadians living on low incomes are disproportionately affected by diet-related illnesses and chronic conditions because they are not able to regularly afford fresh, nutritious foods.2

And according to data from StatCan’s Canadian Community Health Survey, adults experiencing severe food insecurity died nine years earlier than their food-secure counterparts.3 

As Kathryn Scharf, Chief Program Officer at Community Food Centres Canada notes:   

“We believe that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, nutritious foods that build health and longevity. Market Greens is about reducing barriers to healthy food that can go a long way in preventing chronic illness. Not only will this modest, proactive investment support individual health, it will yield cost savings for our health care system over the long term.”  

[1] https://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/Health/mortality-diabetes.aspx

[2] Statistics Canada. (2017). Health fact sheet: Fruit and vegetable consumption, 2016.Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ pub/82-625-x/2017001/article/54860-eng.htm

[3]https://proof.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/mortality-paper.pdf

About Sherbourne Health 

Sherbourne Health is a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness. As an urban health agency in downtown Toronto, Sherbourne provides holistic primary care and chronic disease management, mental health services, health promotion and social supports to marginalized and racialized populations whose complex needs are often not met by traditional health care. The Market Greens program will become an important part of Sherbourne’s Food For Good initiative, which works to help address food insecurity in the Downtown East Toronto area. Learn more at: sherbourne.on.ca

About Community Food Centres Canada 

At the heart of Community Food Centres Canada’s work is the belief that communities thrive when everyone has access to good food. CFCC is a national movement of 300+ organizations working to address the root causes of food insecurity. With our partners, we build vibrant Community Food Centres that strengthen belonging, share knowledge and resources, innovate new programs to improve health and well-being and advocate for policy change. Learn more at: cfccanada.ca. 

The Market Greens initiative has been made possible through generous partnership and funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security and the Arrell Family Foundation.  

For more information, contact:  
Alison Terpenning | Manager, Communications | Sherbourne Health 

416.324.4100 x 3368 | aterpenning@sherbourne.on.ca