Canada Digs In!
Meal Exchange has partnered with Farm to Cafeteria Canada on Canada Digs In! - a three year national initiative to get healthy local foods into the minds, onto the plates of students across Canada.
This partnership is designed to help us take the Good Food Challenge to the next level on campuses across the country by incorporating a 'Farm to Campus Approach'. This approach is designed to engage multiple partners – including students, the school community, and the local food supply chain sector – in a process to implement school and campus-based programs that seek to address social, economic, and environmental determinants that contribute to poor eating habits among Canadian students.
Campuses involved in this initiative will improve student nutrition and food literacy through the following three actions: develop experiential food education activities (such as a school garden or a point of purchase educational campaign), develop and implement a food procurement policy, or provide a salad bar food service featuring a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. See below for updates about our partnership:
Farm to Campus initiative looks to bring ‘Good Food’ to campus
Jess Schellenberg is a student at the University of Victoria. Even with a full course load on her plate, she still finds the time to lead the Meal Exchange chapter on campus, which for the past year has focused on making farm to school connections to bring more local foods to campus. She is able to do this through the support of the Universities Sustainability Office where she works closely with the Farm2School regional lead on developing her role as the Good Food Campus Coordinator running the Good Food Calculator on campus.
Introducing the Local Release of the Campus Food Report Card!
The Farm to Campus approach is about collaboration, engagement, and relationship building at all points of the food system; among students, campus administration, community groups, food producers, and faculty.
We believe that this is the best way to achieve our Canada Digs In! goals to support local food literacy on campuses, enhance student engagement with healthy, local food, and support efforts to develop local food procurement policies on campuses.
Serving Up Food Literacy at UBC
We work with Farm to Cafeteria Canada because we believe that university and college students across the country should be able to access high quality, healthy, sustainably and locally sourced foods. We work with students all over Canada who want to see a system wherein they know what they’re eating, where it came from, and how it fits into the broader food system.
Often, when we talk about this, we are asked “what would this look like? Is this even possible at post-secondary campuses?”
The answer is yes, and it’s already happening.
Local means more than you think!
Often, when we talk about local food, people envision greenhouses full of tomatoes and hydroponic peppers. These are certainly key parts of local eating, but local, sustainable food also means learning about what food grows naturally right in your neighbourhood, and building community around it.