May 23 Webinar – Challenges & opportunities to serving local food in Ontario schools

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Author: admin

Posted: May 14, 2024

Categories: GoodFoodBites / School Food News / Webinars

When: Thursday, May 23rd, 2024 from 2-3pm EST

Register here.

This webinar will explore the question “What are the primary barriers impacting procurement and distribution logistics for local food to be served in school food programs in Ontario? Where are the opportunities?”

This was the problem statement posed in September 2023 to 4 graduate students participating in an 8-month course at the University of Guelph, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agri Food Systems, run by the Arrell Food Institute and supported by OMAFRA and Food from Thought. The question was explored with the partnership and support of Farm to Cafeteria Canada, Student Nutrition Ontario’s Central East Region, Sustain Ontario and Coalition for Healthy School Food.

The student research team will:

  • Share the goals of this project and the process they undertook to explore this challenge, from September 2023 through April 2024
  • Highlight what they learned, including recommendations for policy and decision makers to support getting more local food into K-12 schools in Ontario, and across Canada
  • Facilitate a discussion among webinar attendees to gather additional insights and questions that can continue to inform next steps.

Register here.

About the project

Serving local food in schools is a common goal among many school food providers, farmers and other community members. However, there is a disconnect between the potential to economically support farmers and other local food providers through Canada’s school food systems, and the practice of actually procuring and distributing local foods to school snack and meal programs. As part of the Arrell Food Institute’s Graduate Research program’s Community Partnerships, this project linked 4 University of Guelph graduate students with Farm to Cafeteria Canada, Student Nutrition Ontario’s Central East Region, Sustain Ontario and Coalition for Healthy School Food as community partners with a shared interest to better understand barriers and opportunities that exist when it comes to serving local food in schools.