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Media Release: Government, Grocers, and Grassroots Invest in Canada’s Farm to School Program

Media Release: Government, Grocers, and Grassroots Invest in Canada’s Farm to School Program

VANCOUVER, BC, May 16, 2019

Farm to Cafeteria Canada announces new partners and new investments to scale-up the largest federally supported multi-sector national school food program in Canada. By 2020, more than $5.0 M will be invested by the public and the private sector to advance Farm to School: Canada Digs in (F2SCDI) – an initiative designed to bring more of the local harvest into the minds and onto the plates of students.

“From our experience over the past eight years working in children’s nutrition, when you increase access to fresh, local vegetables for our kids, we fuel their ability to turn dreams into reality” says Kim Herrington, Program Director for Whole Kids Foundation. “Today, we are proud to announce an additional commitment of $500,000 to support Farm to School Canada Grants that will benefit more than 40 schools across Canada.”

The majority of the fund investment for the F2SCDI has thus far come from the Public Health Agency of Canada ($1.8 M) , and the Whole Kids Foundation (1.0 M). These major investments have encouraged multiple not for profit organizations to step up to the plate, matching contributions dollar for dollar with smaller cash and in-kind contributions.

“In the wake of financial investments made by the 100° initiative, we are proud to continue encouraging young people to adopt healthy eating habits, notably by contributing to the Farm to Cafeteria Canada call for projects to fund the implementation of salad bars in Quebec schools,” says Marilie Laferté, Executive Director, Québec en forme.

Simultaneously, 5 provincial governments are rolling out local food strategies and projects to make the production, processing and delivery of healthy local foods to school easier.

“Food systems are complex structures with many components involved; from their origins on the farm to the consumer, food embarks on a lengthy journey. The work that Farm to Cafeteria Canada is doing aligns well with the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s Grow BC, Feed BC, Buy BC program. We are working to close the distance between the field and the tray, to strengthen regional food systems infrastructure, and to make the sourcing, processing, and delivery of local foods to schools and public institutions easier” Honourable Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.

Three hundred change makers keen to invest in farm to school will gather at Canada’s first National Farm to School Conference in Victoria between May 15 -17 to illuminate,  innovate, and inspire further action. Hosted by Farm to Cafeteria Canada and Public Health Association of BC, the conference will emphasize scaling-up efforts in farm and local food to school activities happening across Canada.

“Farm to School BC has been funded by the BC Ministry of Health for over a decade and we are very pleased to collaborate with national partners, Farm to Cafeteria Canada, to support the Growth of Farm to School in Canada.” Shannon Turner, Executive Director of Public Health Association of BC

To date, 91 schools and 8 campuses in 5 provinces have received funds, training and/or technical support through the F2SCDI enabling more than 240,000 students an opportunity to experience Farm to School. Adding F2SCDI figures to the emerging pan-Canadian map of Farm to School initiatives already underway, more than 873,000 students in 12,000 schools and campuses in 10 provinces and 1 territory now have an opportunity to grow, cook, and eat healthy local foods at school. Together, these institutes of learning estimate they spend on average $16.3 M on local foods.

Media Contact

Joanne Bays
Co-Founder
National Director Farm to Cafeteria Canada
E: Joanne.k.bays@gmail.com
P: 250-464-1303
W: www.farmtocafeteriacanada.ca
Conference W:  www.farmtoschoolconference2019.ca

Jesse Veenstra
National Manager Farm to School Initiatives, Farm to Cafeteria Canada
E: farmtoschoolcanada@gmail.com
P: 604-561-9970

About

Farm to Cafeteria Canada
Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) is a pan-Canadian organization whose vision is “vibrant and sustainable regional food systems that support the health of people place and planet.” F2CC works with partners across Canada to educate, build capacity, strengthen partnerships, and influence policy to bring local, healthy, and sustainable foods into all public institutions.

The Public Health Agency of Canada supports innovative partnerships with the private and not-for-profit sectors, and organizations within and outside the health sector to mobilize new ways to enable Canadians to lead healthy lives, and promote healthy eating, physical activity, and address the common risk factors that underlie major chronic diseases.

The Public Health Association of BC
Public Health Association of British Columbia (PHABC) is a voluntary, non-profit, non-government, member driven organization that provides leadership to promote health, well-being and social equity. Farm to School BC, an initiative of PHABC promotes and supports schools and communities working together to bring healthy, local, just and sustainable food into BC schools.

Whole Kids Foundation
Whole Kids Foundation supports schools and inspires families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness.  Founded by Whole Foods Market in 2011, the independent, nonprofit organization is based in Austin, Texas and serves schools and organizations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.  For more information on the Foundation’s school programs visit wholekidsfoundation.org. For ongoing news and updates, follow Whole Kids Foundation on Facebook or Twitter at @WholeKidsFnd.

Québec en Forme
Québec en Forme has been committed to prevention through healthy lifestyles for Quebecers since 2002. We are allies of decision makers who invest in healthy lifestyles. Our role is to coordinate, promote, and carry out the actions required to engage decision makers while maintaining a strong, active, and thriving network. www.quebecenforme.org.

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