The Schools Take Root project promotes healthy, local and sustainable food in schools, childcare centres and community organizations across Quebec. The project seeks to help the communities around these establishments - the children, students, teachers, educators and parents - discover, cook and enjoy more local and organic foods.
TWO ELEMENTS :
1- FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN: Selling baskets of organic vegetables grown by local farmers as a fundraiser. This element seeks to help schools (primary and secondary), childcare centres and community organizations discover delicious and surprising Quebec vegetables, grown by local farmers! To sell these baskets of vegetables for their fundraiser, the youth need to understand the benefits of local organic food. Schools Take Root activities provided to participating establishments help them become little champions of sustainable food.
The Schools Take Root fundraising campaign is:
- An educational project: In 2019, nearly 47,500 children and their families were aware of the campaign and the value of healthy, local and sustainable food.
- A project in full expansion: The number of participating institutions increased from 20 to 115 in three years! There has been tremendous enthusiasm by organizations across the province (and even in Ontario!).
- A province-wide project: 115 schools, childcare centres and community organizations participated in 2019 in 12 administrative regions of Quebec.
- A project with social and community benefits: More than 11,000 baskets of local and organic vegetables were sold through Schools Take Root in 2019, supporting local food production. The project is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fundraising campaigns, and makes healthy foods accessible, even in more disadvantaged environments.
- A project that benefits the environment and our health: Schools Take Root encourages participants to eat more fruits and vegetables, creating awareness about local and organic food that is free of synthetic pesticides fertilizers and GMOs. Since the vegetables have much less distance to travel, they require less packaging, preservatives and create fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
- A project that’s in tune with the times: Schools Take Root is fully in line with the new Canada's Food Guide, which encourages us to eat more vegetables and cook more with staple foods. The project is eco-friendly, reducing the distance travelled by our food, and is also aiming to be zero waste.
In 2020, the project 5th edition, more than 4 000 baskets were distributed by 17 farms from the Family Farms Network to 43 motivated establishments across 10 administrative regions of Quebec. Despite the additional logistics imposed by public health measures on institutions and families and the uncertainty brought by this situation, we couldn't have hoped for a more positive outcome!
Evolution of the project over the years :
Click here for details and to register your establishment for Schools Take Root.
To find out more about how 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017 participants carried out their campaigns
2- CULINARY WORKSHOPS: Providing school daycare service educators with student culinary workshops training, incorporating healthy and local foods. A training session, a practical guide and culinary equipment are provided to participants. The guide and training will enable them to lead workshops where students will learn how to wash, cut food and cook with local fruits and vegetables and how to source food from local producers, among other things.
The Schools Take Root project is coordinated and implemented by Équiterre and has been made possible through the support of the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as part of the Proximité program, with funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, as well as Metro and the I Love Fruits and Veggies Movement. It was created within the Système alimentaire montréalais (SAM) in partnership with the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) and the Direction régionale de santé publique du Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.