Conference Proceedings for Canada’s first-ever National Farm to School Conference

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: September 26, 2019

Categories: Edible Education Network / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Ontario / Schools

Earlier this year, Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) hosted Canada’s first-ever National Farm to School Conference, bringing over 300 participants from across the country and the U.S. to Victoria, British Columbia to learn, network and collaborate together.

Conference Proceedings are now available online, which include short summaries, presentations, posters, videos, exciting announcements, and some impressive success stories and impact numbers from across the country!

Day 1 of the conference set out to inspire and illuminate the farm to school landscape in Canada and beyond to foster and strengthen partnerships.

Day 2 focused on inspiring for influence and impact with the morning dedicated to conversations about the power of proof, evaluation for transformation and organizing for impact.

An overall focus was on scaling-up F2S efforts and evaluating impacts of these activities happening across Canada.

In his keynote on day 2, Wayne Roberts emphasized the need to document and share proof of the benefits of Farm to School; as he put it, weak evidence = a weak movement, great evidence = a great movement.

You’ll see in the proceedings that, at a national level in Canada, 1,215 schools (pre-school – grade 12) and campuses have shared their farm to school activity with F2CC on the nation’s only school food map. These educational institutions report they are providing 863,074 students with an opportunity to experience growing, harvesting, preparing and eating healthy local foods at school. Their estimated combined local food spending is $16 million annually!

In a letter from Canada’s Minister of Health, shared during the conference’s opening ceremony, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor said:

“This conference is an excellent opportunity for people from different sectors and disciplines to come together to collaborate and inspire on another to find new ways to improve eating behaviours among students. Your collective efforts will help make it easier for children and youth in schools and on campuses to learn about healthy eating and adopt nutritious eating habits for life.”

The conference was a great success, with 97% of the participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that the information presented was relevant to their work!

See for yourself in the conference proceedings here, or access the session descriptions and powerpoint presentations here. Photos from the conference have also been shared in a Facebook photo album.

Thank you once again to Farm to Cafeteria Canada for leading this great movement!