At Meal Exchange, we have spent the past two years working with more than 200 students, experts, researchers, food producers, and community leaders to design the Good Food Challenge, a national effort to mobilize the power of students to create campus food systems that are nourishing for producers, consumers, communities, and the planet. As a proud partner in the Canada Digs In! initiative, we’re working to incorporate a ‘Farm to Campus Approach’ into this program, ensuring that students on Canada’s campuses are able to access fresh, healthy, local food.
The backbone of this program is the Good Food Standards, which reflect best practices in campus food procurement and that student researchers will be using to evaluate whether food served on campuses is socially-just, ecologically-sound, community-based, and humane. They represent a comprehensive and decisive definition for Good Food that can be upheld consistently between campuses in Canada.
These standards provide the foundation for the Good Food Calculator, which is an auditing tool that will be run by students, with support from food service staff, to track food purchases that qualify as Good Food. This process will identify how much Good Food is served on campuses and where opportunities exist to improve campus food.
Recently, as we prepare for the Canada-wide launch of the program, Celia White, Meal Exchange staff hosted a webinar for the many people who were involved in the development of these standards to reflect on the process of developing the standards for Canada. We evaluated the last two and a half years of development, and the dozens of iterations of research and testing before reaching the final product, which we are all very excited to publish in the near future. It was an exciting opportunity to both look back on all that’s been accomplished and to look forward to the next exciting phase of this program.
We invite you to take a look at our website to see and celebrate the team of advisors, students, and researchers that brought this program from a dream to reality! Stay tuned for the formal launch of the Good Food Challenge – we are looking forward to kicking off a new generation for food systems in Canada.
If you’d like to learn more about the Good Food Challenge or the Good Food Standards, email firstname.lastname@example.org