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Huband Park Elementary School, Courtenay BC
2017-2018 (Year 2)

Huband Park Elementary School in Courtenay BC is a rural school in a beautiful neighbourhood about 10 minutes north of town. Courtenay is a mid size city ½ way up Vancouver Island about 3 hours north of Victoria. Our school has 375 students in 17 divisions in Kindergarten through grade 7 so it is a large single track elementary school. It has Seal Bay Nature Park close by with multiple trails for students to use and a salmon bearing creek that runs through the property.

As a rural school, there are a number of families connected to the school who own or work on farms and this was the driving force behind our salad bar project the school started in 2012. A huge part of the credit goes to Arzeena Hamir, parent and farm owner, who applied for the first F2C grant application that was successful. This was the start of our salad bar journey at Huband Park.

As you can imagine, our salad bar started small but has been growing by leaps and bounds year over year. We have been successful in a 2nd grant application to purchase another whole salad bar setup. What started as a small project serving about 40 or 50 students is now a very large operation serving about 200 to 220 students every Tuesday! We have a core team of volunteers that includes parents, chefs, work experience students from a local high school and our own students who all volunteer time to make salad bar Tuesday a reality at Huband.

As principal of the school, I cannot stress enough how important the volunteers are to the success of this program. To help the general public and our school board understand this important idea better, I have supported the creation of a video that showcases our salad bar. Please take a few minutes to view our new parent-produced salad bar video on our YouTube channel: (http://bit.ly/Huband_Park_Salad_Bar_Video)

The next part of our salad bar journey is to work on a number of important initiatives that connect to salad bar Tuesdays. Ongoing, we are looking to find more small local food producers and move away from purchasing food at big box stores that have a much larger eco footprint. We are also exploring how chefs can visit the school and work with classes on nutrition and other healthy living related topics. We have had visits from Active Schools BC and their representative talked with our staff about various topics and then there was a conversation with our garden club students.

Finally, we are looking to take students on field trips to local farms so they can learn about their local community and find out about all the wonderful things that happen on farms! We had the BC Dairy Foundation visit our school recently and students learned amazing things about milk production and how dairy farming is an integral part of our local rural community, as well as a major employer in our Comox Valley and our province.
The focus of our salad bar in the recent past has been to develop the program to feed more and more students a healthy lunch option. This has been about building our own capacity to supply students and staff with salad on Tuesdays. With our 2nd salad bar unit now set up and in operation, we are able to work more on the educational and motivational aspects of this program for students and families.

Our most recent success was a series of visits from various organizations connected to Farm2Cafeteria. We had Farm to Cafeteria Canada and Whole Kids Foundation (from Texas) come to see our salad bar in action. They provided our grant money and were excited to see so many kids enjoying salad bar. Last week Marcus Lobb (Farm to Cafeteria Canada – School Animator) came to see us and has informed us that we are serving the most students in a single serving! There are over 30 other schools across Canada in this program. This is what Marcus said “Also, very impressed that your salad bar is reaching over 50% of your population. I would say most schools are averaging between 10 – 40%, so that is amazing what is happening over your way. Wanted to thank you for inviting me into your school, and letting me see your amazing salad bar in action. It’s clear you have an amazing team, and when visiting other schools in the area, they all mentioned how your salad bar service was an inspiration.” We also had six student nurses from NIC helping out with salad bar service the last two weeks.

We continue to explore ways to bring more local foods into our salad bar and look to figure out ways to reduce the waste that is produced by the salad bar (even when the scraps go to chickens at one of our local farms).

I am so proud to be the principal of this school and be able to showcase the hard work of volunteers like Shannon Donohoe, our salad bar coordinator, and the many parents and other volunteers that help make it happen every week at Huband!

Thank you, Farm2Cafeteria Canada Program for supporting Huband Park Elementary School and helping it move to healthier food options for students, and increased knowledge in the area of healthy living.


2016-2017 (Year 1)
Huband Park Elementary School, Courtenay BC

Huband Park Elementary School in Courtenay BC is a rural school in a beautiful neighbourhood about 10 minutes north of town. It has Seal Bay Nature Park close by with multiple trails for students to use and a salmon bearing creek that runs through the property.  As a rural school, there are a number of families connected to the school who own or work on farms and this was the driving force behind our salad bar project the school started in 2012.  A huge part of the credit goes to Arzeena Hamir, parent and farm owner, who applied for the first F2C grant application that was successful.  This was the start of our salad bar journey at Huband Park.

As you can imagine, our salad bar started small but has been growing by leaps and bounds year over year.  We have been successful in a 2nd grant application to purchase another whole salad bar setup.  What started as a small project serving about 40 or 50 students is now a very large operation serving about 180 to 200 students every Tuesday!  We have a core team of volunteers that includes parents, chefs, work experience students from a local high school and our own students who all volunteer time to make salad bar Tuesday a reality at Huband.

As principal of the school, I cannot stress enough how important the volunteers are to the success of this program.  To help the general public and our school board understand this important idea better, I have supported the creation of a video that showcases our salad bar.  Please take a few minutes to view our new parent-produced salad bar video on our YouTube channel: (http://bit.ly/Huband_Park_Salad_Bar_Video)

The next part of our salad bar journey is to work on a number of important initiatives that connect to salad bar Tuesdays.  Ongoing, we are looking to find more small local food producers and move away from purchasing food at big box stores that have a much larger eco footprint.  We are also exploring how chefs can visit the school and work with classes on nutrition and other healthy living related topics.  Finally, we are looking to take students on field trips to local farms so they can learn about their local community and find out about all the wonderful things that happen on farms!  We had the BC Dairy Foundation visit our school recently and students learned amazing things about milk production and how dairy farming is an integral part of our local rural community, as well as a major employer in our Comox Valley and our province.

The focus of our salad bar in the recent past has been to develop the program to feed more and more students a healthy lunch option.  This has been about building our own capacity to supply students and staff with salad on Tuesdays.  With our 2nd salad bar unit on the way, we are going to be able to work more on the educational and motivational aspects of this program for students and families.

Thank you, Farm2Cafeteria Canada Program for supporting Huband Park Elementary School and helping it move to healthier food options for students, and increased knowledge in the area of healthy living.

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