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By Alexa Pitoulis, Executive Director

If you’re reading this you’ve likely heard the shocking news that Canada is the only G7 without a federally funded universal school food plan and that Canada is ranked 37th of 41 countries on providing healthy food for kids. Fresh Roots, alongside so many other organizations, parents, teachers, grandparents, municipalities have come together through the work of the National Coalition on Healthy School Food and here in British Columbia the BC Chapter of the Coalition. 

Photo credit: Chef TJ Conwi, LunchLAB Lord Roberts

 

Now is the time for you to have your voice heard! The federal government has launched a consultation process for the development of the National School Food Policy. This is the first time in over 60 years that school food policy has been discussed at the federal level. 

 

Everyone can participate by completing the questionnaire by December 16, 2022: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/school-food/consultation-school-food.html

 

Not sure what to say? Or looking for some more info?

  • Check out the Coalition for Healthy School Food’s Guiding Principles.
  • Join the  “Amplifying Our Voices” Workshop to be held on Monday December 12, 2022 between noon and 1pm EST. Hosted by the Coalition for Healthy School Food, this interactive workshop will allow people to complete the form during the session or to complete it by their organization at a later time. Register here.
  • Learn about the evidence and impacts of farm to school. (Reference: Farm to Cafeteria Canada)

For over a decade, Fresh Roots, has been demonstrating through our schoolyard farms and experiential learning programs how a comprehensive, farm to school approach to a national school food policy would have incredible benefits resulting in huge social and economic returns on investment. Thank YOU for being part of this community!

I’m feeling so optimistic about the momentum we currently have towards a federally supported, universal, comprehensive school food policy. Just in the last few weeks I’ve:

  • Participated in 2 National roundtable discussions with the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
  • Shared with and learned from colleagues across the province in Victoria at the BC School Food Network Gathering.
  • Read the recent report titled A Universal School Food System for BC put out by The Single Mothers’ Alliance. The research brief shares the perspectives of low-income BC parents on the existing school food programs and builds the case for the universal school food system in British Columbia.
  • Spoke to a 3rd year class at Simon Fraser University about our work and the importance of a new approach to school food in Canada.
  • Spoke to at least two Master’s level researchers who are exploring school-food costing and farm to school related topics of study!

Caption: Alexa digging into a discussion topic with provincial colleagues at the Nov 9th BC School Food Network Gathering in Victoria

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