Farm to School: Canada Digs In! (Canada Digs In) is a multi-sectoral partnership designed to prevent chronic disease. Launched in 2017, Canada Digs In has set out to improve student nutrition and food literacy while building community and strengthening local food systems.
This interactive report tells the story of the first three years of this initiative. It celebrates the champions who made it possible, provides links to practical resources developed along the way, and showcases the project’s immediate impacts.
Farm to school gets students eating, cooking, growing, and embracing healthy, local food. Through farm to school activities students connect with their communities and develop food literacy, all while strengthening vibrant, sustainable, economically viable regional food systems.
The goal of Canada Digs In is to scale Canada’s farm to school movement and enable students to develop the life-long knowledge, skills, and habits to support their wellbeing, their communities, and the planet.
The project works to:
Farm to School: Canada Digs In! is a wonderful example of what is possible when multiple partners who have aligned values, and a diversity of experiences and knowledge, come together at the same table to advance a common aim.
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s $2.0M investment in Canada Digs In is the largest federal investment in school food in Canada to date. With this initial investment, Canada Digs In has been matched by an additional $2.5 M of cash and in-kind contributions from its 10 additional project partners.
“There is real strength in connecting with — and sharing information with — leads in other provinces. We have a lot to share and also to learn from them.”
“F2CC has created a network of like-minded people and organizations across Canada and there is enormous value for our local organization, and nationally, by bringing us all together.”
Farm to School Canada Grants provides grants of up to $10,000 each directly to K-12 schools to deliver farm to school programs by:
Whole Kids Foundation provides the funding for the grants. Farm to Cafeteria Canada administers the program. Regional partners provide on-the ground resources and support participating schools.
Read more about the Farm to School Canada Grants program.
This on-campus campaign empowers post-secondary students to work with their university or college to provide food that is accessible, community-based, ecologically sound, socially just, and humane.
Campuses sign the Good Food Campus Commitment to show leadership and innovation in the food system and accountability to the well-being of their student community. By signing the commitment, they agree to increase their procurement of Good Food to 20% by 2025 and make Good Food more affordable and accessible for all students.
Learn more about Farm to Campus and the Good Food Challenge.
A total of 163 representatives from the 86 participating K-12 schools received training on implementing and sustaining farm to school salad bars and food literacy. This training, which included presentations from chefs, farmers, local knowledge keepers and past grant participants, shared how to:
Newfoundland & Labrador
from students and teachers, to academics and policy makers from across Canada and the United States gathered in Victoria, BC in May, 2019, to INSPIRE, INNOVATE & organize for IMPACT to close the distance between farm and fork and bring more healthy, local & sustainable foods to the minds & plates of students.
View the conference proceedings report here.
Students gain the skills and habits needed for a lifetime of healthy eating when they participate in farm to school programs.
Farm to school brings curriculum to life and enables hands-on student learning.
Farm to school connects schools with farmers and increases local food procurement.
Farm to school supports student wellbeing and connection to their community.