An association of daycares in the Montérégie region of Québec (RCPEM) have partnered with Équiterre and the regional conference of elected officers (CRÉ) for the project Croqu’Plaisir. Considering that one Quebec child in five suffers from overweight (Shields, 2005) and that the average Canadian meal travels some 2500km (CAAAQ, 2008), this project aims to increase the share of local and healthy food offered in the region’s daycare facilities. The project is part of province-wide effort to create healthy living environments for Quebec’s youth.
The first component of the project – training and support – offered by the RCPEM provides personalized professional support to kitchen managers, childcare workers, managers and parents in the form of training about food attitudes and best practices. Sourcing of local food is promoted during these training sessions.
The second component – implementation and promotion – offered by Équiterre aims to promote and facilitate the supply of local fruits and vegetables in Montérégie daycares. To achieve this, Équiterre will offer personalized support free to participating daycares. In addition, a variety of educational tools will be available to all of the daycares in the targeted region to educate children, parents and employees about the importance of healthy, local food.
Équiterre believes that buying local is a first step to making responsible food choices. Gradually, organic and fairtrade food products should also find their way into the diets of Quebecers.
- Increase local food sourcing in 30 to 40 daycares in the Montérégie region over a two-year period.
- Build capacity of daycare managers and cooks with regards to local sourcing.
- Create a sense of pride within the daycare community on the issue of local food.