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Grant Opportunity: Advancing Farm to School in Ontario and BC

Farm to Cafeteria Canada and the Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with Sustain Ontario, the Ontario Edible Education Network, the Public Health Association of BC and Farm to School BC announced a new Farm to School grant program that will to deliver $500,000 to schools in Ontario and British Columbia. These grants, valued at up to $10,000 each, will bring the harvest to schools by funding Farm to School Salad Bar programs that engage students and community in gardening, cooking, preserving, purchasing and serving healthy local food at school.
All schools in Ontario are eligible to apply.  Grant guidelines and the application form can be found on the Farm to Cafeteria Canada website. All questions relating to the grant can be directed to Farm to Cafeteria Canada: farm2schoolgrantscanada@gmail.com. Grant applications are due on March 15, 2016

Alternative Avenues: Bringing Ontario Foods to Ontario Classrooms

Through the Alternative Avenues to Local Food Procurement in Ontario Schools project, Ecosource and Roots to Harvest worked with teachers, students and food service providers in Durham, Peel and Thunder Bay to develop and test strategies to incorporate local food procurement into secondary school food programs, while engaging students in food literacy education.

Ecosource and Roots to Harvest recently released their report on the project and are pleased to share their findings. The report outlines the current school food context in each region and describes what challenges and opportunities for local food procurement were identified. Specifically, the report showcases and describes the 7 local food pilot projects and the 8 Ingredients for Success (guidelines) that the project determined for implementing local food projects.

You can also find a video about the project on the Ecosource website.

Hamilton’s Edible Education Guide

Hamilton’s Edible Education Guide is for administrators, teachers and staff to have a one-stop shop for food literacy programming and resources that is available for their school, classroom or after-school program. The Guide offers food literacy programs that address curriculum requirements to all Hamilton schools, as well as resources around school gardens, nutrition education and classroom lesson plans. This program helps to collect, develop and promote programming and initiatives that address food skills and food knowledge.

Due to some changes in Ontario Student Nutrition Program Guidelines, the Guide will no longer be housed at Tastebuds after June 2016. We are currently exploring other partnerships and non-profits to find a new home for Hamilton’s Edible Education Guide for next September to build on the fantastic energy and momentum that has been building this year.

Bring Food Home 2015 - Presentations, Photos and Recap Available

From November 20-22, over 270 individuals from across the province gathered in Sudbury at Sustain Ontario's Bring Food Home Conference.  Participants came from remote fly-in communities, dense urban centers and everything in between. 

The 90 diverse presenters led animated discussions on food production, distribution and marketing, local food economies, agriculture and the environment, food access and justice, and health promotion. 

An entire stream of the conference was dedicated to edible education including presentations and discussions on market gardens, curriculum links, student engagement, school garden education, developing food skills, and transforming school food cultures.

Check out Sustain Ontario's Blog Post Bring Food Home 2015: More Voices, Collective Impact and Northern Hospitality for a short recap and access Presentations and Photos from the event.

Changing the Menu - Presentations and Closing Video Available

In November 2015, close to 450 farm to school champions attended the Changing the Menu conference in Montreal.  Resources from the conference are now available.

Check out the conference closing video and access speaker presentations on the Changing the Menu website (most speaker presentations have been uploaded - visit the program date and session to access them).

Farm to Cafeteria Canada Resources

If you know of a school engaged in food literacy or healthy local food procurement please help get that school on Farm to Cafeteria Canada's National School Food Map. Almost 700 schools have registered their activities to get more local healthy foods in the minds and on the plates of students.

Farm to Cafeteria Canada is also pleased to share the following resources:

What is Farm to Cafeteria Canada Fact Sheet
What is Farm to School Fact Sheet
Canada's 1st National Farm to School video
Canada's 1st National Farm to School Storybook
Gallery of Farm to School Art

(Also available in French on the Farm to Cafeteria Canada website)

School Food Program Webinars Hosted by Food Secure Canada in 2015

In the spring of 2015 Food Secure Canada hosted a series of webinars profiling different school food programs from across different provinces.  Check them out if you haven't already!

Other resources relating to Children and Youth are available on the Food Secure Canada website including information about the Coalition for Healthy School Food that is seeking a $1 billion investment phased in over 5 years from the federal government for a cost-shared Universal Healthy School Food Program.

Carolyn Webb – Back to Work with the Ontario Edible Education Network

Message from Carolyn: after a year of maternity leave I'm glad to say that I’m now back in my role and look forward to continuing to support all of you who are connecting children and youth with healthy food systems.

As a fun type of orientation back to work, I helped out in my 4-year old’s JK class for apple sauce day and got to experience first-hand the kind of work that so many of you do every day.  Check out my story.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch at cwebb@sustainontario.ca or 613-852-7709.