Since 2018, Équiterre has supported 15 schools to establish sustainable food projects and educational activities in their communities. These schools received grants as part of the Farm to School Canada Grants program, allowing them to involve students in growing, harvesting, preparing, processing, and serving healthy, local, and eco-responsible food in a regularly offered salad bar.
Video: What is Farm to School Quebec
As regional coordinator, Équiterre mobilizes Quebec schools to implement projects that adopt a Farm to School approach. The organization guides and supports school teams at each stage of the implementation of their project: start-up, consolidation and sustainability.
Video: Get Started
To share concrete and inspiring examples, Équiterre published six videos in October 2021 that present projects that were developed by the schools it supported. These videos are practical tools to help interested parties plan, coordinate and implement their projects over the long term.
By sharing good practices, Équiterre hopes to strengthen the various initiatives and mobilize a greater number of schools in the province to take such steps. In collaboration with Farm to Cafeteria Canada, Équiterre hopes to generate a real movement for sustainable and integrated school food.
Video: Make it Sustainable
Salad bars filled with local food!
Équiterre also supports schools in their local procurement efforts through tools such as fact sheets, webinars, and connecting with local and organic farms. In addition, the organization works in partnership with Aliments du Québec through the Aliments du Québec au menu recognition program dedicated to establishments that value Quebec products in their menu. This program was developed in 2016 by Aliments du Québec and Équiterre, with the support of the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ).
This partnership has enabled all schools that Équiterre has supported since 2018 to measure the percentage of local food that they serve and to receive an official recognition certificate. This quantification work allows schools to gain a picture of their food supply and to benefit from personalized recommendations from Aliments du Québec on the menu to increase the share of local food. This quantification also allows the teams to set targets for future years.
Video: Local Food Procurement
To learn more about how the schools supported from 2018 to 2020 have quantified their local food purchases, check out this case study!
Projects that have adapted to the COVID-19 context
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Équiterre and F2CC redoubled their efforts to support schools to adapt their initiatives in light of health constraints. Although school closures and the lack of resources slowed down most initiatives, the results were surprising! Most schools were able to reorganize their food and educational offerings to continue their project.
For example, some schools took advantage of this particular year to continue to improve their gardens and develop more educational activities, such as what was done at Knowlton Academy. Others, such as Louis-de-France School, took the opportunity to do food processing and preservation.
Video: Farm to School in the Context of the Pandemic
To go further
Finally, to participate in the next round of grants, apply here before January 31, 2022!