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Ongoing

Farm to School Quebec

Supporting sustainable food in schools

Farm to School Quebec is a program that supports and encourages Quebec schools to implement sustainable food education and procurement initiatives for their students.

The challenge 

The food that is served in our schools has an impact on our food systems, the local economy and the environment.

Quebec schools must set an example for their communities with regards to sustainable food education. They need to help educate their students about healthy, local and environmentally responsible food, including the importance of consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, and as little ready-to-eat or ultra-processed foods as possible.

By implementing structured initiatives for sustainable food procurement and nutrition education, Quebec schools are not only helping to create awareness, but are also encouraging sustainable food systems.

 Farm to School Quebec provides opportunities for students and school communities to make informed choices when it comes to food. Its initiatives contribute not only to sustainable regional food systems, but also to an bolstering our food autonomy. 

Murielle Vrins

Program Manager, Sustainable Food

Équiterre's work 

Since 2018, Équiterre has supported 15 schools in developing and implementing their sustainable food projects, helping engage their students in growing, harvesting, preparing, processing, and serving healthy, local, and environmentally responsible food through a salad bar. The schools received funding through Farm to Cafeteria Canada's initiative Farm to School: Canada digs in!.


Objectives

As the initiator of the Farm to the School Quebec project, Équiterre works to:

  1. Inspire and mobilize Quebec schools to increase the presence of healthy, local and environmentally responsible food in the minds and on the plates of their students;
  2. Support primary and secondary schools in developing their food procurement and food education initiatives by providing support, training and tools.

Farm to School Quebec is based on three main principles:

  1. Access to healthy, local and environmentally responsible food for youth through locally sourced foods, primarily through salad bars in cafeterias;
  2. Hands-on learning and student involvement;
  3. Building bonds between the youth and their communities.

Our impact 

15 schools supported


5 administrative regions


3,813 students reached


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Sustainable food procurement in schools can have significant benefits for our society:

  1. Health: providing students and the school community access to a wide variety of fresh, healthy food;
  2. Local economy: supporting local and regional businesses by encouraging partnerships with local farmers and artisanal processors, and therefore helping to reinforce our food systems;
  3. Environment: promoting sustainable development among students and raising awareness about a variety of environmental issues (transportation, pesticides, food waste, packaging, etc.);
  4. Education: creating awareness among students about the importance of their food choices, specifically by teaching them how the agri-food system works, from field to plate.

Sustainable food procurement approaches are also beneficial for participating schools:

  • They create pride among the school community to be providing quality food to students, and are opportunities to enhance knowledge, encourage creativity and mobilize school teams;
  • They are appreciated by students and members of the school community, fostering a greater sense of belonging to the school.

Project history

2022

A new call for projects is launched to recruit more schools.

2020

Six new Quebec schools are supported by Équiterre to implement sustainable food initiatives.

2018

For the first time, Farm to School Canada grants are extended to Quebec schools. Nine schools are chosen to receive up to $10,000 each to implement a salad bar service stocked with local products and to provide food education activities.

Témoignages

Project Team

De la ferme à l’école Québec est porté et mis en oeuvre par Équiterre, en collaboration avec De la ferme à la cafétéria Canada grâce à des soutiens financiers du ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), de la Fondation Whole Kids et ​​de l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada.