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Farm to school : Canada digs in!

Farm to School: Canada Digs In! is an initiative of the Farm to Cafeteria Canada network in collaboration with Équiterre in Quebec and is part of an effort to get more healthy local foods into the minds and onto the plates of students across Canada.
 

Supporting healthy and sustainable food choices in schools

This initiative offers grants to up to 60 primary and secondary schools and 14 campuses in provinces across the country, including British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. The aim of these grants is to give students and school communities the resources needed to make wise food choices and to establish regional food systems. These vibrant and sustainable food systems benefit the health of people, place and planet. All Farm to School programs thus offer a comprehensive series of activities designed to improve the nutrition and food literacy of students while strengthening the local food system.

Salisbury Elementary School, Salisbury, New Brunswick

EDUCATING YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE FOODS

In Quebec, 9 schools were selected to receive Farm to School Canada grants of $10,000 each in June 2018 as part of this program. Financed by Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) and the Whole Kids Foundation (WKF), these grants were expanded to include Quebec for the first time this year, with additional financial support from Québec en forme.

The following Quebec schools received grants in 2018:

In 2020, 5 Quebec schools have been selected to receive a new grant:

As the regional coordinator for the Farm to Cafeteria Canada movement, Équiterre will guide and support the school grant recipients in Quebec in the implementation of the program. Équiterre has been actively involved with Farm to Cafeteria Canada since its establishment in 2011.
 

A case study about recognizing local procurement in 9 Quebec schools

In June 2020, Farm to Cafeteria Canada, in collaboration with Équiterre, published a case study about the implementation of salad bars in the first Quebec schools to receive Farm to School Canada grants and participate in Farm to School: Canada Digs In! initiative (2018-20).

This first Québec cohort of grantees shares a holistic vision of using salad bars as a tool to introduce and promote healthy, local and sustainable foods to students. All participating schools introduced and sustained an advanced local procurement approach. This engagement was sustained through support from Équiterre and the implementation of a structured process led by F2CC and a recognition program known as Aliments du Québec au menu.

This study aims to inspire other institutions to join the movement! It demonstrates that the Aliments du Québec au menu recognition program and the Farm to School: Canada Digs In! initiative have been synergistic. Such partnerships have the potential to enhance the Farm to School movement and larger national momentum toward creating healthier, more resilient and sustainable local food systems.

The case study is available here.


 

A FULL-CIRCLE WIN FOR EVERYONE

By providing students with both quality nutrition in the cafeteria and hands-on food education in the classroom, while simultaneously supporting the local food supply chain, the Farm to School movement creates a virtuous circle where everyone’s a winner, from students to communities, local farmers and local food economies. A recently released report from Farm to Cafeteria in collaboration with the Whole Kids Foundation and the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia, Raising the Bar: A look at the early impact of the Farm to School Canada Grant Program, takes a detailed look at the significant impact that the Farm to School program had on the first round of grant recipients.
 

FARM TO SCHOOL: A GROWING MOVEMENT

Farm to Cafeteria Canada is proud to lead the Farm to School Canada movement. To date, over 11,000 schools and campuses across the country have succeeded in offering some 750,000 students the opportunity to take part in the Farm to School experience, with activities including schoolyard gardening projects, cooking programs, salad bars, and many other educational activities. Take a look at the school food initiatives on the National School Food Map of Canada and sign up your school today.

QUESTIONS?

Send an email to the project manager of the Farm to School Canada Grant Program at: farm2schoolgrantscanada@gmail.com.

 

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