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Fundraising Campaigns Offering Local, Organic Vegetables in Schools!

Montreal, November 17, 2016 – Two Montreal schools have chosen to innovate this year by launching a new type of fundraising activity for their projects. Thanks to the project Schools Take Root: For Healthy, Local and Sustainable Food, these schools are giving youngsters and their parents a chance to discover the surprising and delicious root vegetables of Quebec. Featuring healthy, organic produce grown and delivered by a local farmer, these baskets offer a welcome alternative to the traditional oranges and chocolate, while creating a virtuous circle where everyone’s a winner!

Coordinated and implemented jointly by Équiterre and the Lester-B.-Pearson School Board and its partners, this project is an initiative of the Système alimentaire montréalais (SAM), whose mandate is to promote local, organic food in schools on the Island of Montreal. This project will help get students and their families interested in consuming healthy, local food, while increasing demand for local products in the long run and promoting healthy eating habits.

The first delivery of organic vegetable baskets took place on November 16 as part of a fundraising activity organized by the St. Charles School in Pierrefonds. Frédéric Thériault of the Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol, an organic farmer and member of Équiterre’s network of family farmers, made a delivery of 50 baskets sold by the school to youngsters and their families, who became the first participants in this pilot project. A second delivery is planned for November 22 at Le Vitrail, a school in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie. François Tanguay, from the farm Les jardins du Petit Trembleand also a member of Équiterre’s network of family farmers, will deliver 135 baskets of tasty local and organic vegetables to the school. Families interested in continuing to receive organic vegetable baskets on a regular basis from the farmers serving their local community can sign up at www.paniersbio.org for the winter or summer season.

Why this type of campaign?

  • To raise funds for schools;
  • To cook with healthy, local and sustainable produce and to promote healthy eating to our kids;
  • For the good of our health and the health of the environment (consuming food free of pesticides and GMOs, reducing transportation and packaging);
  • To support the local economy and our farmers.

While this project is the first of its kind in Quebec, it is inspired by similar initiatives that have emerged in other provinces. This innovative idea first took root in Manitoba, where a fundraising campaign offering root vegetables is organized each fall under the management and coordination of an association of local farmers known as Peak of the Market. In 2015, over 350,000 kg of Manitoba-grown vegetables were sold and delivered to 358 schools and day care centres across the province. Manitoba is the first province in Canada to have established such a program province-wide, but similar projects have already been launched in Ontario and British Columbia, with others soon to follow in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

For more information:

Dale Robertson
Media Relations, Équiterre
514 605-2000 / drobertson@equiterre.org

The project Schools Take Root: For Healthy, Local and Sustainable Food is an initiative of the Système alimentaire montréalais (SAM), coordinated and implemented by Équiterre and the Lester-B.-Pearson School Board, in partnership with the Direction régionale de santé publique du Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. The project was made possible thanks to the support of the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as part of the program Proximité, funded under the Entente Canada-Québec Cultivons l’avenir 2. The project also received assistance from Québec en forme.

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