Ecole Secondaire Macdonald Cartier, Sudbury,ON
2017-18 – (Year 2)
Salad! Salad! Salad! Once again students and teachers at École secondaire Macdonald-Cartier are lining up for salad bar lunches every week. Many positive comments have been heard among the 500 students about the variety of vegetables and other foods being offered in the salad bar. This must be why they just keep coming back. As students keep coming back for more, we’ve noticed a decrease of students leaving the school premises to purchase fast food. It’s very encouraging to see that we are reaching our goal of reducing fast food purchases among students and that we are slowly changing the school food culture. I guess the saying is true- all great things take time.
One of the challenges we were faced with this year was the closing of our local food cooperative, Eat Local Sudbury. Our food service provider would often purchase food from this organization, especially during winter months when local foods aren’t as readily available in the Sudbury area. Over the summer and fall, we will be exploring different ways of procuring foods from different farmers to continue to provide local food in our salad bar.
On a more positive note, we hope to feel some ripple effects of the Farm 2 School project within other schools of our board. The Parent Involvement Committee at the board level has identified healthy eating as an area of focus within the whole board next year. We can’t wait to share the success of our Farm 2 School project and see more schools get on board with the idea of farm to table.
2016-17 – (Year 1)
École secondaire Macdonald-Cartier is a french public school located in the heart of Sudbury, in Northern Ontario – the 3rd largest francophone community in Canada outside of Quebec! The student population from grade 7 to 12 is approximately 460 students. We applied for the Farm 2 School grant as part of a cluster application with École secondaire Hanmer, a smaller high school within our school board. We must admit that we are very thankful that the other high school invited us to take part in this project. We love seeing the salad bar in our cafeteria every week and students enjoying healthy local foods.
Luckily for us, we share the same cafeteria service provider as Ecole secondaire Hanmer. The Farm 2 Cafeteria grant was the perfect opportunity for us to work collectively at improving our school food culture in addition to promoting wholesome local food. We started out by surveying all students, to see what they wanted to see more of in their cafeteria. The results allowed the cafeteria service provider Joanne Lecour, to be creative with her salad bar choices and to ensure the project would be as successful as possible.
The salad bar was officially launched on April 4th, where all students and staff were able to have a generous sample of salad at no cost. The launch was promoted to staff, students and parents through various means and the turnout was fantastic. Over 250 salads were dished up by students and staff alike. Over the weeks, Joanne continued to offer a variety of fresh, colourful and nutritious food in her salad bar, and as a result, saw an increase in her total sales. Students and staff were purchasing more food in the cafeteria overall and less likely to go offsite during their lunch hour.
This year, we’ve started by taking small steps that have already greatly impacted our school community and are eager to continue growing our success. We will continue to build the partnerships we’ve developed with our local public health unit, farmers and food cooperative, in hopes to increase the amount of local foods offered in the cafeteria. We will be exploring ways to increase students’ knowledge about our local food system as well as ways to grow plants indoors to help provide produce for the salad bar to help minimize cost. Moving forward, we hope our school will influence others in further developing their food culture and taking a shift towards healthier school nutrition environment for all.