What is the Good Food Challenge?

The Good Food Challenge has been inspired by and developed in partnership with the Real Food Challenge in the United States. The Good Food Challenge uses the power of youth and students to create campus food systems that are sustainable, socially just, humane, and healthy. Amidst a sea of confusing labels, certifications and claims about sustainability and ethical purchasing, the Good Food Challenge offers campuses a comprehensive and decisive definition for Good Food, set a high standard upheld consistently among institutions, and support users in tracking their progress.

The Good Food Challenge is comprised of the Good Food Calculator, and the Good Food Campus Commitment.

Good Food Calculator

The Good Food Calculator is an auditing tool, run by students with support from food service staff, used to track food purchases that qualify as Good Food. The Good Food Calculator offers a rigorous national standard for Good Food, capturing best practices in campus food procurement and upheld consistently between campuses across Canada.

The calculator’s foundation is student energy; students complete comprehensive research and analysis that Food Service staff are often not able to do. Meal Exchange also provides hands on training and support to equip students with the skills they need to run a successful audit using the calculator.

Good Food Commitment and Campaign

The ultimate goal of the Good Food Challenge is for the president of a university to sign the Good Food Campus Commitment. By signing the commitment, campuses commit to ensuring that, by 2025, at least 20% of their campus food will meet the standards established by the Good Food Calculator.

To encourage university presidents to sign the commitment, students mobilize and organize Good Food Campaigns. Meal Exchange supports student campaigners by helping them develop SMART goals to track their progress.

We're taking the campaign to the next level by partnering with Farm to Cafeteria Canada on the national Canada Digs In! initiative. Canada Digs In! is designed to use a Farm to Campus approach to support efforts to shift campus food procurement - bringing healthy, local, and sustainable food from the farm, to the campus, to student's plates across the country, as well as strengthening student engagement with healthy food. Learn more here.

Meal Exchange fosters student pride in their campuses, and offers a national platform to celebrate successes growing the movement for transparency in the supply chain and procuring food that is good for people, communities, and the planet.

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