Farm to School has been a valuable part of Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary School school’s food program during the 2016/17 school year. A recent grant provided the opportunity to increase our salad bar local food offerings and allowed students the chance to sample, access, and enjoy a variety of foods.
Our school food program has evolved over the years, beginning as a one day per week lunch in 2010. The program then increased to a two day per week lunch featuring soups, salads and sandwiches prepared with fresh ingredients. Thanks to the new Farm to School grant, we are currently able to offer lunch three days per week featuring a salad bar filled with local, healthy ingredients that are sourced as close to Haida Gwaii as possible.
We have been able to increase the variety and volume of local foods that we have been serving in the salad bar and have been able to prepare our greenhouse for spring and summer planting. We are planning to use foods grown in our greenhouse in the salad bar program as these foods are harvested throughout the school year. Our school cook is happy to be able to preserve and utilize local foods that can be used in our lunch program on a regular basis.
Many of our students take part in the salad bar and are always excited to see what fruits and vegetables will be offered. We are able to offer a widening variety as the students are becoming increasingly adventurous in their food choices! As more and more students are eating broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes, we are able to introduce vegetables such as asparagus and turnips. We have noticed a significant increase in the students’ willingness to try new foods.
In addition to incorporating local foods and increasing the foods offered in our salad bar, we have been able to invite and welcome the community into our school in the form of volunteers, knowledge holders, and parents who have given their time and energy to help make the salad bar program a success. We have a committed group of people who arrive at our school every week to help make the salad bar a success.
Farm to Cafeteria Canada and Whole Kids Foundation – thank you for the financial support provided through this funding. The addition of local food and community involvement in our lunch program have been an extremely appreciated and well received aspect of our school food program.