Bringing Food Literacy Education into all Ontario Schools with Bill 216: Food Literacy for Students Act

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Author: Sustain Ontario

Posted: November 16, 2020

Categories: Edible Education Network / Food in the News / Good Food Ideas for Kids / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Ontario / Schools

Sustain Ontario is excited to share that Bill 216: Food Literacy for Students Act—which would bring food literacy education to every grade in Ontario schools—has passed its first and second readings in the Ontario Legislature! It is now moving forward for discussion at the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly.

The private member’s bill was introduced to the Ontario Legislature by MPP Daryl Kramp on October 19, 2020, proposing that:

“The Education Act is amended to provide that curriculum guidelines shall require that courses of study be developed in experiential food literacy education and healthy eating for every grade from grade 1 through grade 12. The courses of study must ensure that students are given opportunities to grow food, prepare food and learn about local foods. Every board is required to provide instruction in the courses of study and to provide training and support for teachers and other staff of the board. Completion of the courses of study are a requirement for obtaining the Ontario secondary school diploma, the secondary school graduation diploma and the secondary school honour graduation diploma.”

Bill 216 has come to fruition thanks to the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Food Policy Council, who first brought the idea to their local MPP in 2017.

The KFL&A Food Policy Council have been working with MPP Kramp to draft the bill and are currently collecting endorsements from organizations and health professionals in the province to ensure the bill successfully passes its third and final reading.

If you agree the Ontario Education Act should be amended to include experiential food literacy education, support this petition by the Food Policy Council here.

A recent article in the Kingston Whig-Standard shares why the bill’s authors are hopeful for its future:

“I think it’s very groundbreaking,” Sarah Keyes, one of the bill’s original authors, told the Whig-Standard. “If we can get this through, we will be the first province to have such a food literacy curriculum. We know it’s so important … we think that this is an essential part of being able to grow up to be healthy and to make healthy food choices.”

Read the full article here.

MPP Kramp shares in the same article that he is “encouraged by the phenomenal reception we’ve had from across the political, personal, private and industrial spectrum,” including from the health, education and agriculture sectors.

If you are involved with an organization and are interested in either endorsing the bill or staying informed about the process, please reach out to the KFL&A Food Policy Council representative Sarah Keyes, as she will share information on future steps in the process and what public support is needed: sarahkkeyes@gmail.com.

Sarah also discussed the bill on CBC’s Ontario Morning on November 16th – listen here, starting at 31:41.

A big thank you and kudos to the KFL&A Food Policy Council and MPP Daryl Kramp for bringing the importance of food literacy education into the Ontario Legislature!

This bill builds upon the work of many organizations who have been advocating for a food literacy curriculum for decades, and given the bill’s alignment with Sustain Ontario and the Edible Education Network’s efforts, we are excited to be working with folks across the province to see that Bill 216 is passed. We will certainly be following this bill closely!

 

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If you have a moment we also encourage you to send a letter to MPP Kramp – daryl.kramp@pc.ola.org – in support of the bill.

Please also cc:

We also want to communicate messages of support to members of the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly: