Farm to Cafeteria Canada News
October 2017, Issue 7

Canada Digs into Farm to School:

Major Funding Announced

It’s October, and the nation's 4th annual Farm to School Month Canada Campaign has kicked off with some exciting news!

At a special Farm to School Month Canada launch event held on October 3, 2017, at Norman Johnston Secondary Alternate School in Glouchester, Ontario, Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced funding for  a panCanadian Farm to School Initiative. The Public Health Agency of Canada will invest over $1.2 million to implement and evaluate Farm to School: Canada digs in! - a three year, evidence-based, results-focused national initiative lead by Farm to Cafeteria Canada that builds on the organization's strong and diverse national network and bilingual e-platforms, to scale up  efforts to get healthy local foods into the minds, onto the plates of students across Canada.

Photo: MP Toronto-Danforth, Julie Dabrusin; Canada's Miniater of Health, Ginette Petiepas taylor, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, Whole Kids Foundation Program Director, Kim Herrington; and National Manager Farm to Cafeteria Canada, Joanne Bays

Canada's Farm to School movement received an additional boost of support during the event when Kim Herrington Program Director with the Whole Kids Foundation announced they would invest an additional $308,000 CDN, to deliver Farm to School Canada grants as part of the Farm to School: Canada Digs in initiative. This announcement coupled with an earlier investment of $722,000 CDN for Farm to School Canada Grants brought the total investment by WKF to over $1.0 Million CDN.

The incredible impact of Farm to School, and the value in investing in it, is certainly becoming realized!

"Healthy living and the prevention of chronic diseases starts with making good choices, including becoming educated and exposed to healthy food options. Teaching kids about healthy food can have a tremendous impact on their health and wellbeing, and forms the basis for making positive, healthy lifestyle choices that can help prevent obesity and chronic disease", 
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer.

Since the October 3rd event, inspirational pictures and stories illuminating the ways Canadian students are digging in to celebrate Farm to School Month have been flooding into F2CC headquarters.


View the entire 2017 Farm to School Month Canada Photo Gallery here.

Help us keep the momentum high!  Spread the news that schools still have  time to celebrate Farm to School month in Canada. For the full month of October, any Canadian school (including preschools and campuses) that participates in Canada's  Farm to School Month campaign and registers their activity with Farm to Cafeteria Canada will be eligible for a draw to receive a grant worth $1,500 to support their F2S initiatives. 

For more news about the Farm to School Month Canada Campaign or the Farm to School: Canada Digs In Initiative visit the Farm to Cafeteria Canada website or Contact your regional lead.

Farm to School Canada Grant Program:

First 50 Recipients Share Their Stories

École Robb Road, Comox, BC

In 2016, Farm to Cafeteria Canada delivered the first wave of Farm to School Canada grants  directly to schools to support their plans to bring the local harvest into school cafeterias. Grants,made possible by an initial
 $722, 000 CDN investment by the Whole Kids Foundation, were delivered to 50 schools in BC and ON. The grants enabled nearly 20,000  students with opportunities to grow, harvest, cook, preserve, serve and to eat healthy local foods at school from a fresh foods salad bar. The full list of schools may be found here.

At the end of their first year, schools were asked to write a short story describing the activities that were underway to close the distance between the field and the tray. Each story illuminated a bee hive of activity engaging students, volunteers, cooks, chefs, teachers, principals, parents, gardeners and bakers, farmers, and cheese makers alike. The impact and the benefits of the programs jump off the  page. Read the full story here 

Local Food on the Public Plate:

Pan Canadian Initiatives

The Legacy Lives on:

Nourishing School Communities: Impact Report 2013-2016

"As Farm to Cafeteria Canada is poised to embark on a new national initiative to advance Farm to School in Canada we are cognizant and appreciative of the fact we are in a position to seize this opportunity because of the work that has been undertaken and the relationships that have been built over the years. In this newsletter, we take great pride in shining light on one very special project that has helped Farm to School find its place on the national stage - Nourishing School Communities. That Farm to School continues to flourish in Canada, is one aspect of the living legacy of the Nourishing School Communities Initiative lead by the Heart&Stroke. We are thankful to have been a partner at that table."
Joanne Bays, National Manager Farm to Cafeteria Canada

Nourishing School Communities brought together partners from across Canada with the vision to get more healthy and local foods into the minds and onto the plates of school children. The objective of this evidence-based initiative was to implement, scale up and evaluate best practices by guiding school communities to create healthy school food environments. With three years funding from the federal government through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s Coalitions Linking Action & Science for Prevention (CLASP) program, Nourishing School Communities provided $2.4 million to various programs across the country. Read the full story here

National Food Summit Unites Campus Students Towards Common Aim:

Good Food For All

Here at Meal Exchange we are celebrating the success of one of our favorite events of the year, the National Student Food Summit, which took place earlier this summer. Meal Exchange works to support and empower students on college and university campuses across Canada to take an active role in creating a just, sustainable, and resilient food system, and the National Student Food Summit is a great opportunity for the students that form the base of this movement to gather, share ideas and insights, and meet with others invested in this work. Read the full story here 

Nourish Initiative Aims to Change the Narrative of Food in Healthcare

I have long wondered if it’s a coincidence that the kitchens in hospitals are often in the basement. Prioritization of food in healthcare is often pit against clinical priorities, rather than seen as complementary. Common refrains I’ve heard from healthcare include, “It’s food or the MRI,” or “If a patient is well enough to complain about the food, they’re well enough to go home.”

Across the country, twenty-five Nourish Innovators are challenging these narratives by working to demonstrate the value of food in healthcare.  Read the full story here

Local Food on the Public Plate:

Regional News

Webinar Series on Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools

During the 2016/17 school year, the Ontario Edible Education Network hosted a series of Local Food Literacy in Schools webinars to support educators who were looking for resources and/or ideas to help  students to:  1) gain a greater awareness and knowledge of local food; 2) better understand its availability; and 3) learn local food skills.  More

More Local Organic Food in Quebec Institutions!

Since its inception, Équiterre has aimed among other things to increase the consumption of local organic food. Through the development and coordination of a network of family farms, Équiterre allows thousands of people to have organic baskets full of fresh local vegetables delivered near their home or workplace every week.  More

School Greenhouse Launched in St. John’s!

St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, NL was a recipient of the Farm to School Month prize in 2016 for $1500. With those funds, along with matching funds from school donors, students and volunteers recently built the school a gorgeous new greenhouse. Before building the greenhouse, they put thought into how to make it an integral part of their Farm to School program, so that it has big impact from day one.  More

New Brunswick Acts to Increase the Amount of Local Food in School Cafeterias

In 2016, the Government of New Brunswick launched its Local Food and Beverage Strategy, Buy/Achetez NB.  Among the strategy’s objectives was improved availability of local food and beverages.  Including more local products in schools was identified as an opportunity to that end.  As a result, one of the key actions identified within the strategy was to “Evaluate and develop a model for local food procurement in all public schools, aiming for a ... target of 30% local food”.  More

NEW Faces at The National Regional Lead Table

Left to right: Teri Emrich, New Brunswick; Richard Han, British Columbia; Sarah Ferber, Newfoundland and Labrador; Dana Lahey, National Campuses

We at F2CC feel privileged to work with such creative and dedicated people from across Canada who work hard to put more local, healthy food into the minds and onto the plates of students! This fall, we are happy to welcome a few new faces and plus a returning face to our national Community of Practice of Regional Leads. Please see the Regional Leads page on F2CC's website to come to know and to connect with the Regional Lead in your area.

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