Ontario Edible Education Network – Mentorship Program

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Across Ontario people are doing great work to connect children and youth with healthy food systems.  The Ontario Edible Education Network, an initiative of Sustain Ontario, has been established to bring these groups together to:

  • Share resources, ideas, and experience
  • Work together on advocacy, and
  • Make it easier for people across Ontario to get children and youth eating, growing, cooking, celebrating, and learning about healthy, local and sustainably produced food.

Mentorship Program Overview:

To enable individuals and groups to learn from one another and share their learnings widely the Ontario Edible Education Network is piloting a mentorship program.

The program will provide a small amount of financial support for individuals to travel, meet and learn from others who can help inform their ongoing work.  We ask that, in return, participants document what they have learned so that we can share these lessons across our Network.

We strongly encourage a diversity of applicants to apply as our hope is to help expand our movement and bring the full range of ideas and experiences to the table to support healthy food systems for children and youth.

In addition to offering travel support we also hope to connect individuals and/or groups of individuals together who may be interested in developing a mentorship relationship over the phone.  If you are interested in this option please visit our Phone Mentorship Program website.

Program Details:

  • The Ontario Edible Education Network is offering small amounts of financial support (maximum of $750 for travel and related expenses) for individuals to share information about an issue that is in line with the Network’s mandate of connecting children and youth with healthy food systems.  Participants will then share what they have learned across the Network.
  • We encourage applications that relate to (though they are not limited to) the following 6 themes:

1. Food in the Curriculum

2. Food Education Outside of the Classroom

3. School and Community Food Gardens Engaging Children

4. Food Skills and Cooking Programs

5. Local / Sustainable Food in Schools

6. Student Nutrition Programs

  • Preference will be given to applications that contribute to advancing the Network’s Action Plan.
  • Matching funding for travel and other costs is encouraged but is not necessary.


In particular we would like to support one or more projects that address:

  • Evaluation and documentation
  • Working with school boards, particularly relating to school gardens

Eligible expenses may include:

Up to $750 for one or more individuals to travel and learn from other individuals or organizations.  Funding may go to support:

  • Reasonable travel costs*
  • Accommodation expenses  of up to $60/person/day (please make a case if more support is needed; sharing of hotel rooms is encouraged)
  • Up to $30/person/day for food
  • Up to $100 to the program mentor in recognition of and support for their contribution

* We will reimburse mileage at a rate of $0.40/km in Southern Ontario or $0.41/km in Northern Ontario (in line with the Ontario Ministry of Government Services’ guidelines)


Other requested expenses will be approved at the discretion of the selection committee.

  • While the program is intended to support individuals to travel within Ontario, we will consider travel outside of Ontario where there is a significant learning opportunity for an applicant.
  • Note that our total program budget is limited to $6,000 and so will only be able to support a small number of initiatives.  If the program is successful we will seek additional funding for future rounds.

Deliverables and other Conditions of the financial support:

We ask that program recipients:

  • Share what they have learned in an engaging format by the program deadline (see timeline below).
  • Allow their story to be told in the Ontario Edible Education Network newsletter (participants could provide a submission or work with a Network intern to prepare one); and for their learning submission to be shared via the Network’s website and using social media.
  • Include the Ontario Edible Education Network logo on any materials that are prepared related to this undertaking.
  • Provide a brief report alongside the final submission about the value of the program (for evaluation purposes – see questions below).

Application Process:

Please fill out and submit our Application Form by the application deadline (see timeline below).

Template for sharing your learnings:

The learning submission must meet the following guidelines:

  • Communicates what you have heard and learned in an engaging format.  This may take the form of one or more of: a brief tipsheet, short video, webcast, audio interview, photo/narrative journal, and/or other creative means.
  • Includes: (a) Information about your program and the program that you visited; (b) Specific and substantial lessons that you learned and how you are considering applying them to your work / program.
  • Includes your contact information for others to contact you if they would like to build on or learn from your experience.

Questions to report back on alongside your submission:

For the purposes of evaluating our program we ask that, when you provide us with your final learning submission, you provide a brief report / email describing the following:

  • How was this program / initiative valuable for you?  How will it impact and improve your work into the future?
  • Do you have any suggestions or ideas for how the Network could improve and/or modify this initiative (e.g. the application process or how we are sharing the learnings) if this program is continued?

Timeline for Mentorship Program:

Round 1:  
Applications due April 11, 2014
Applications approved April 28, 2014
Projects initiated May 5, 2014
Reporting back August 1, 2014
Round 2:
Applications due June 13, 2014
Applications approved June 30, 2014
Projects initiated July 7, 2014
Reporting back October 1, 2014


Do you have any questions?

Please get in touch with Carolyn Webb, Coordinator, Ontario Edible Education Network at cwebb@sustainontario.ca