Carlin Elementary Middle School, North-Okanagan Shuswap, BC
Grant term 2022-2024

In 2021 Carlin Elementary Middle School in the North-Okanagan Shuswap became the lucky recipients of the Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) grant.  From this exciting news we embarked on a collective journey that led us back to our own backyard – so to speak.

Boy in a garden holding a shovel with a wheelbarrow of soil beside him Carlin is uniquely two schools in one, with a K-5 elementary school and an attached 6-8 middle school.  In reality, we are one big, happy family with connections to our rural landscape and tight community.  In total, Carlin Elementary  Middle School has around 300 students and a long history of supporting local kids to fulfill their dreams. In 2021, Vice-Principal Sandra Major and a dedicated and skilled parent hot lunch coordinator, Amanda Jackson, set out to bring higher quality, local and home-made foods to our students.  

Using the F2CC grant, we upgraded our kitchen and canteen equipment and purchased locally sourced ingredients to make bi-monthly hot lunches.  One lunch each month is purchased by families and the other is a free hot lunch, subsidized by the PAC and supported through our F2CC grant.  We love that we provide nourishing food to kids and help make it accessible for all.  Parents and caregivers volunteer their time and work alongside our middle school student leaders to deliver the food to classes.  Students are encouraged to bring their own bowls/mugs on soup days and we try to do our part to limit waste and reduce our carbon footprints.  

As a celebration of learning in 2023, our grade 7/8 students who were learning about civilizations/cultures did a culminating activity where groups of students researched, prepared, and served a whole variety of traditional cultural foods from across the world to the entire middle school.  This project was supported by the F2CC grant and gave the kids an experience to learn about others through cooking and traditional food sources.  It was the highlight of the term for many.  

Teacher and children outside drawing with chalk on concrete As we near the end of the grant cycle and find ways to complete our journey, the staff and students of Carlin decided to come together and create our own much needed school garden.  This project had been a dream for years and it was gratifying and inspiring to finally see it come together.  The community, the staff, and the students all worked together to make this garden a reality and this spring we will get to plant the seeds that will (hopefully) end up as nourishing foods on our plates and in our salads.  We can’t wait to see what grows from this next adventure in learning about and through food!  

We want to thank FTCC for their support and for inspiring us to take our learning to the next level.  Funds that helped us make our food program stronger, healthier, and more accessible have been invaluable.  Thank you FTCC!