The Community Foundation of Ottawa launched the New Leaf Community Challenge (NLCC) in 2014 as an innovative way to identify and substantially support strategic approaches to pressing local issues. The NLCC signature event is a juried process that takes place in the fall to select a winning proposal for a special $125,000 grant.

In 2014 and 2015, the focus of the NLCC was on food security within a food systems context. The winning initiative in 2014 was MarketMobile, a traveling market that regularly brings affordable fruit and vegetables to Ottawa neighbourhoods with limited access to fresh produce. In 2015, the Challenge winner was the Deep Roots Food Hub, which is working to expand food systems and food security infrastructure in West Carleton.

The 2016 New Leaf Community Challenge took place on Wed., Nov. 9 at Saint Paul University. Focused on demonstrably improving the employment situation for young adults in Ottawa, the 2016 Challenge attracted a diverse array of exciting and innovative project submissions. The top three proposals presented to the jury included a social enterprise collaborative for youth-delivered IT services, an employment task force for young people with intellectual disabilities, and a collective impact initiative to improve the employment outlook of local youths living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. For more information about the 2016 Challenge event and the recipient of the $125,000 NLCC grant, click here.