Farm to Cafeteria Canada News
January 2021

Farewell, to a very dear friend    

Our hearts are heavy this week as we mourn the loss of a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Wayne Roberts, who died peacefully on January 20th. 

Wayne was an exemplary leader not just in the world of food policy, but also as a human being. He was thoughtful and kind, carrying himself with grace and integrity everywhere he went. Most of all, he was FUN. He had a playful wit, wonderful stories and anecdotes, and a smile that could undoubtedly light up any room. This is how we will remember him. 

Read our tribute to Wayne here:

Farewell, to a very dear friend

New Video! Farm to school impacts in action    

The impacts of farm to school run deep in communities like Mulmur, Ontario and many others across Canada.  

In October, we released our Farm to School: Canada Digs In! Report 2020, which demonstrates how farm to school initiatives can significantly support public health, education and learning, economic development, and community connections. A brand new video highlights these impacts through the lens of one of our passionate Farm to School Canada Grants recipients, Primrose Elementary School in Mulmur, Ontario.

Read our post and watch the full length video here:

Farm to school: Canada Digs In! video

New Resources! 

  Growing a Movement: Farm to school in the Comox Valley

This case study presents the farm to school journey of five schools in British Columbia’s Comox Valley between 2012 and 2019. It details how they implemented their farm to school salad bar services, procured local food, and engaged students in food literacy activities as part of the Canada Digs In! initiative. The case study highlights not only the schools’ individual achievements, but also how through collaboration, they developed a regional farm to school Learning Circle, helping to advance farm to school in their region.

Read the full case study here:

Comox Valley Case Study

Contribute to Équiterre’s future food education platform!

Our partners at Équiterre are developing a digital platform dedicated to food education for young people, aged 0 to 17 – and they need your help! The platform will provide a one-stop-shop for practitioners who work with children and youth to access healthy eating and food literacy tools developed by organizations in Quebec (or those with a branch in Quebec). The platform is set to launch in the fall of this year, but first Équiterre invites you to help identify resources that should be included!

Learn more about this project and submit a suggested tool or resource here.

When food and education go hand in hand

Walking together with Indigenous communities

Since Farm to Cafeteria Canada’s inception, we have committed to recognizing and supporting Indigenous food systems and Indigenous self-determination in our funded projects and food literacy activities. To date, through the Farm to School: Canada Digs In! initiative, we have given grants to 120 schools in Canada, of which 17 self-identified as Indigenous, or having strong connections to Indigenous communities. We are proud of what we have accomplished so far; however, we know that much more must be done so that we can better honour the Indigenous peoples, histories and lands on which we all live today. That is why we are pleased to announce a new partnership with Alderhill Planning Inc., an Indigenous-owned and operated planning company with a passion for food sovereignty and youth engagement, and decades of experience working with Indigenous communities across Canada. We feel honoured to be working alongside the Alderhill team in finding ways to walk together with Indigenous communities as we grow the farm to school movement in Canada.

Stay tuned for more information coming soon! 

Recent Webinars

Fall 2020 was packed with exciting farm to school webinars hosted by Farm to Cafeteria Canada and our partners. In case you missed any, here are the recaps with links to the recordings:

Sharing the impacts of Farm to School Canada Grants!

We joined our provincial partners Sustain Ontario, Food First NL and the Public Health Association of BC, and leaders of the Farm to School BC program, to celebrate the impacts of farm to school in Canada. Check out the recap post for session highlights and find links to recordings(Note: this post and recordings are available in English only at this time).

School Food Programming in a time of COVID-19

Sustain Ontario’s Edible Education Network recently hosted two lively webinars to discuss School Food Programming in Ontario in a time of COVID-19 with a focus on food literacy education. Four panelists shared the innovative ways they’ve been able to adapt their work and keep students engaged. Check the highlights from the sessions and links to recordings: November 17th recap and recording; January 20th recording.  

Cultivating Change: Antiracist principles in school food & Indigenous-led school food programs

From November 12-18th, Food Secure Canada’s online gathering, Cultivating Change, presented a rich program of events that looked at the intersections between food systems, anti-racism, decolonization and environmental justice movements. As part of the event, our partners at the Coalition for Healthy School Food hosted two important conversations: one on showcasing Indigenous-led school food programs, and one on embedding anti-racist principles in school food. Access a summary of the Embedding Anti-Racist Principles in School Food Programming and Lessons from Indigenous-led School Food Programs webinars and links to the recordings on the Coalition’s website. For a complete program summary and recordings from Cultivating Change, visit Food Secure Canada’s website.

 LAST CHANCE to inform an Evaluation Framework for farm to school in Canada!

In August 2020, Farm to Cafeteria Canada began an engagement process to inform the development of Farm to School Evaluation Framework / Toolkit for Canada. The framework will help practitioners, researchers and policy makers better articulate, track, measure and communicate the impacts of farm to school activities and policies.

Our final survey to inform the framework will be open from February 15 - March 5th. To participate in this process and complete the survey, please fill out our registration survey. We’ll send you instructions and a link to the survey once it is open. No previous participation is required!

Education & Learning Impacts of Farm to School

Did you know? 

Learn more about the impacts of farm to school!

Stay connected!

Join our Facebook Group to stay connected to stories about farm to school, farm to campus stories as well as stories that touch on the many facets of food systems. You can also pose questions, share resources. We are also on Twitter.

If you know a colleague or friend who would like to know more about our farm to school work, invite them to sign up here.

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