Cultivating the School Food System is about empowering teachers and students in learning, growing and serving healthy food. When students have access to healthy, local, and delicious food, it is believed that that academic confidence will increase and discipline and behavioural issues decrease. , , Students learn better when they eat healthy food. We connect this work to the “Good Food” movement in Canada and the United States which focuses on food that is: healthy, green, fair, and affordable. , CSFS is a multifaceted, collaborative approach to enhance student learning, support teacher and staff innovation in teaching, and eating healthy, delicious, local food. It aims to shift attitudes and behaviours of students and support teachers and food providers to make systemic change in teaching practice and food provision. Programs support students across the VBE, focusing on vulnerable youth in E. and S. Vancouver, in Renfrew Collingwood, and Victoria-Fraserview, regions where youth food insecurity and poverty are prominent. CSFS addresses:
Food Literacy: CSFS is transformative on-site learning for students. Creating opportunities for experiential and inquiry-based learning, it hosts training for educators; year-round field to fork programming for students, prepares youth with employment skills.
Access: CSFS provides healthy, schoolyard farm grown food for the school community. It supports healthy school meal programs by facilitating an expert working group comprised of VBE staff, community partners, and FR to recommend and implement strategies for increasing food access.
School Food System (SFS): CSFS inspires and supports schools to make large-scale shifts in purchasing, food service operations and student meal choices through a bundle of programs under the working title “BC Wednesdays.” This grant will support the teachers that want to do more. Already three schools have self-identified as wanting to participate in BC Wednesdays.