For Immediate Release
New funds and tools for New Brunswick schools to get more of the local harvest in the minds and on the plates of students.
February 14, 2018
Fredericton NB – Farm to Cafeteria Canada and our partners – the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fisheries, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Whole Kids Foundation – are thrilled to announce the launch of a new pan-Canadian initiative designed to get more healthy local foods into schools – Farm to School: Canada Digs In!
Over the next 3 years at least 59 schools in 5 provinces (including New Brunswick) will participate – receiving funds, tools and/or technical support to engage students in growing, buying, harvesting, cooking and eating healthy local food featured in a salad bar meal service.
“New Brunswick’s Farm to School movement is bigger than what kids eat for lunch. It’s a movement for healthy kids, stronger communities, and resilient local food systems. We are excited to launch this new initiative designed to seed and feed that movement”, said Joanne Bays, National Director Farm to Cafeteria Canada
Connecting schools to farms and children to their food is a simple idea that has inspired the spread of Farm to School activity across New Brunswick. Gardens, farms, and farmers markets have sprung up on school grounds. Local food delivery trucks are appearing at school loading docks. Fresh local foods are being dished up in school snack and meal programs.
New Brunswick schools keen to dig in are invited submit an application for a Farm to School Canada Grant. These grants, valued at up to $10,000, are designed to support the implementation and evaluation of a Farm to School Salad Bar program.
“Educating children and families about the bounty of healthy, nutritious foods available close to home is key to growing the market for local foods. This grant will help complement the Government of New Brunswick’s support for other efforts to highlight local foods, like Cooperation in Agri-Food, a non-profit working to deliver more local foods to more public facilities, starting with school cafeterias, and the Agriculture in the Classroom program to educate students about farming in their region,” said Andrew Harvey, Minister of Agriculture, Mines and Rural Affairs
“This comprehensive approach to nutrition education in New Brunswick is creating healthier environments in classrooms and cafeterias alike. We are proud to be a part of this movement and thankful to Farm to Cafeteria Canada for their deep understanding of the need to empower kids to make healthy food choices,” said Kim Herrington, Finance and Program Director, Whole Kids Foundation.
For more information about starting or sustaining Farm to School in your community, visit the Farm to Cafeteria Canada website and down load the New Brunswick Farm to School Guide.
“You know there’s a shift occurring when students line up with huge smiles to pile heaps of fresh greens onto their plates. Our children are making the connection that locally grown food tastes great and is something to be proud of! Students, parents, schools, and communities all win with Farm to School!” says Roxana Atkinson, Leadership Council Member, Farm to Cafeteria Canada.