Alberta is a proud agricultural province, with the sector playing an important role in its economy. Farm to school activities provide an opportunity for students in Alberta – and across Canada – to access healthy, local food at school, make connections to the people in their community who grow and produce food, and learn about career opportunities in sustainable agriculture. It’s no wonder that many educators, farmers and other community members in the province are eager to see Alberta’s farm to school movement grow.
There are a variety of initiatives underway in Alberta that embrace the Farm to School Approach and we’re excited to spotlight just some of the incredible work happening in this post.
The term “Local food to school” can be used instead of “farm to school.” This term is preferred in some regions and Indigenous communities. It reflects the diversity of local and traditional foods that can be enjoyed in schools from coast to coast to coast, many of which are not sourced from a farm.
Since expanding our grants program to the province in 2020, 8 Alberta schools have received a Farm to School Canada Grant. Three schools received grants in 2020 and completed their projects in June 2022. Check out some of their highlights, which include hosting a student “Master Chef” Competition at St Martin De Porres School, growing food sovereignty at Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation School, and discovering natural science through hydroponics at W.P. Wagner High. This September, 5 more schools started their grant journey and we are excited to watch them grow. See the full list of Alberta grant recipients and learn more about the program here.
Farm to school activity in Alberta isn’t limited to grant recipient projects though. Here are just a few examples of other impactful work underway:
- Farm to School Alberta’s Community Animator Pilot gets underway in Northern Alberta
- Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Education Authority (KTCEA) serves traditional food in schools
- Maskwacis Education Schools Commission (MESC) Nanâtohk Mîciwin (Universal School Food Strategy)
- Residents of the Bow Valley Gather for Local School Food!
- LCHS’s Ecovision Case Study: Growing Ecological Leaders
- Natural Science Hydroponic Project Story
- Food Sovereignty in 3 Grow Projects at Sturgeon Lake School
- Altario Farm School
- “The Farm” Rockyview School District, Farm School
We know the stories and activities listed here are just a few examples of farm to school activities happening throughout Alberta. If you represent a school or are a community partner, farmer or other local food provider we want to hear from you! Please register your activities and/or services on our school food map.
Our partners at Alberta Food Matters are especially committed to supporting the growth of farm to school in Alberta and we’re proud to collaborate with them on this goal. Be sure to check out their school food webinars, and sign-up for their newsletter to stay informed.