Canada is ranked 37th of 41 countries on providing healthy food for kids, yet today we remain the only G7 nation without a federally funded school food program.
The Coalition for Healthy School Food is a group of 70+ organizations advocating for increased federal investment in a universal, cost-shared, healthy school food program for all students across Canada.
Here in BC, many teachers, administrators and community partners are working to bring healthy foods to the plates, minds and bellies of students. However, existing meal programs are run at a classroom, school or school district scale, and are often disconnected from Home Economics or Culinary Arts classes. This patchwork of programs largely relies on parents and other members of the school community to develop and fund, and does not meet the needs of all students. We need significant investment from all levels of government, as well as input from teachers, administrators, local school communities and other stakeholders, to create a universal program for all children and youth.
This workshop will involve a brief presentation on the Coalition and it's proposal for a universal, healthy school food program for all students in Canada. There will also be a brainstorming activity and discussion for participants to explore the role, impacts and opportunities for Home Economics teachers and classrooms to engage with this campaign and future school food programming. Participants will leave with a better understanding on the current status of school food programs in BC and Canada, and how they can engage with the national Coalition to build on existing programs and ensure all students in Canada and BC have access to nutritious meals every day.
Samantha works as a consultant with the Public Health Association of BC. She is the Provincial Lead of the BC Chapter of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, supporting national efforts to secure public investment in a national universal, cost-shared, healthy school food program. She is also Community Animator for Farm to School's Vancouver Area Regional Hub, where she "animates" (ie. catalyzes and supports) a grassroots movement towards healthy, local, sustainable school food systems. Samantha is an MSc alumna from UBC's Faculty of Land and Food Systems, where she studied agricultural policy and food sovereignty in the BC dairy industry.