Waterloo Elementary School, Waterloo, Québec
2018-2019 (Grant Year 1)
Since 2016, Waterloo Elementary School in Montérégie has been offering its students and staff the opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
What began as a simple experiment by cafeteria manager Jenny Wheeler quickly turned into a well-stocked, healthy salad bar. “After being inspired by the summer camp my sons attended, I wanted to try offering a salad bar at school once a week,” explained Jenny. “But it was so popular that we now offer it five days a week!” The salad bar is a complement to the cafeteria menu. Kids can choose a format and serve themselves. In fact, the principal insists on the pedagogical importance of letting the children serve themselves as a way to develop their autonomy.
Thanks to the school’s participation in the Farm to School program, it has been able to purchase new equipment (a refrigerator and salad bar unit), which has improved food preservation. It has also established links with a local distributor who offers locally grown food to supply the salad bar. The school currently has a small vegetable garden that allows about 20 students to participate in gardening activities, but it’s hoping to expand the school garden so it can use the harvest to supply the salad bar.
The school is also doing a lot to raise awareness among kids about the importance of healthy and local food. It offers activities related to farming and food, including visits to farms, community gardens, pumpkin collections, tastings and cooking workshops. One thing everyone can agree on is that this initiative allows students and school staff to eat healthier!