Food First NL, Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC), and the Whole Kids Foundation have announced a second round of Farm to School Canada grants.
Valued at up to $10,000 each, these grants will be delivered to 33 schools across the country, including 3 schools in Newfoundland & Labrador.
The goal for F2CC’s Farm to School program is to get more locally grown food onto the minds and plates of students across the country. The program achieves this goal by establishing partnerships between schools and the farmers, fishers, and food producers in their area.
For example, during the first round of F2CC Farm to School grants, St. Bonaventures College in St. John’s received money to establish a farm to school salad bar program in their school. The self-serve salad bar allows students to pick from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and dressings. As much produce as possible comes from Lester’s Farm, and changes seasonally to ensure freshness and variety.
This second round of Farm to School grants will help fund similar programs at the following schools in Newfoundland & Labrador:
Clarenville Middle School – Clarenville
Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School – Corner Brook
St Teresa’s Elementary School – St John’s
In addition to the farm to school salad bars, St. Teresa's will establish a composting program, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School will renovate its kitchen so it can use and store foods grown in its on-site greenhouse.
Clarenville Middle School, who will be working with Three Mile Ridge Farm, will "inclusively engage our entire school community in the education and promotion of growing and harvesting food while making healthy dietary choices" by providing students with both hands-on learning opportunities at Three Mile Ridge farm, and "inclusively providing healthy lunch options for those who may otherwise not have ac-cess to these selections."
“There is a food revolution afoot in Canadian schools,” says Joanne Bays, National Director for Farm to Cafeteria Canada. “Parents, teachers, students, and food service workers are clamouring for a fresh crunch in school lunch, and local farmers and fishers are eager to deliver. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to seed, feed, and watch this movement grow!”
Food First NL became our province’s principal partner for this national program to ensure the Farm-to-School movement could take root in schools in Newfoundland & Labrador. Our education manager, Sarah Ferber, is the Regional Lead for Farm to Cafeteria Canada in NL.
“The type of food procured by public institutions can play a big role in shaping the health, economy, and food system of our province,” says Ferber.
“By partnering local schools with food producers in their community, we’re bringing healthier food into our schools, and fostering life-long healthy eating habits and 'eat local' attitudes in our children, while strengthening local food systems and economies, by providing farmers, fishers, and food producers with more venues for sales of their goods."