Community food security, education projects announced
Community groups, schools, and early childhood centres will have more resources to teach Islanders about fresh, local food – including the students at Queen Elizabeth Elementary in Kensington.
Research coordinator Karen Murchison of the PEI Certified Organic Producers Cooperative says her group will receive funding to provide Queen Elizabeth students with local and organic foods for lunch. It is one of 17 projects receiving a total of $119,550 from the provincial government’s Community Food Security and Food Education Program (CFSFEP), which will teach youth and their families where local food comes from and how it is produced.
“We are excited to work with staff, students and parents at the school, as well as many exceptional food producers from the area,” Murchison said. “It is encouraging for us as an industry organization to know that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is committed to ensuring the highest quality of nutrition for students in our Island schools.”
The community food security and education program is a joint effort with the province’s departments of Agriculture and Fisheries, Health and Wellness, and Education, Early Learning and Culture. It is intended to promote good nutrition and healthy food choices, build community self-reliance, link farmers to consumers, and build pride and joy in preparing foods.
“Community food security and education is a top priority for our department, and government is very pleased to support sustainable local food systems to address these priorities,” Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac said. “Leaders in these projects are empowering our schools, youth, and families to build strong communities across our province.”
Successful projects were chosen from among 33 applications. A committee with knowledge and experience in community food security provided recommendations to the department. The committee was developed based on best practices from other organizations and jurisdictions.
"We're very pleased by the enthusiasm, creativity and capacity that was demonstrated in the proposed projects,” said CFSFEP coordinator Bobby Thomas Cameron. “We're looking forward to sharing with Islanders the outcomes and impacts these projects will have on community food security in Prince Edward Island."
Visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/foodsecurity for a full list of successful applicants and more information.
Here is a list of the successful projects and a brief description.
Healthy Local Food at East Wiltshire School – Now and Future
Increase the availability of fresh local food on the menu at East Wiltshire School by developing sustainable, healthy food choices, and implementing changes that support local food distribution
Healthy Local Food at Tignish Elementary School – Now and Future
Increase the availability of fresh local food on the menu at Tignish Elementary School by developing sustainable, healthy food choices, and implementing changes that support local food distribution
Healthy Local Food at Morell High School – Now and Future
Increase the availability of fresh local food on the menu of Morell Consolidated High School by developing sustainable, healthy food choices, and implementing changes that support local food distribution
A Comprehensive Examination of the Cost, Logistical and Fulfillment Barriers to Incorporating Organic & Locally Grown Products in an Existing Lunch Program
PEI Certified Organic Producers Cooperative
Increase the availability of fresh food on the menu at Queen Elizabeth Elementary School by developing a cost-effective, sustainable model for inclusion of local and organic food products into the already existing lunch program
Charlottetown Rural Gardens Community Project
Charlottetown Rural High School
Provide community-based food learning experiences through opportunities for students to gain knowledge about growing one’s own food on school grounds
Healthy Families Community Kitchen
Native Council of PEI
Facilitate a series of educational sessions for Indigenous youth to combat food insecurity. Topics and activities will include: plot gardening 101; buying healthy local food on a budget; and juicing with local ingredients
Enhancing the Healthy Food Environment for the Morell Consolidated School Community
Morell Consolidated School / University of Prince Edward Island
Promote good nutrition and healthy food choices by building community connections with local producers, facilitating nutritional and cooking sessions and the re-establishment of the Morell Consolidated community garden (in partnership with the Morell & Area Early Learning Centre)
The Mount Community Council
Increase the amount of fresh local food on the menu for the students of The Mount Academy and Playtime Daycare Centre by installing vertical indoor gardens. These gardens will grow fresh produce and herbs by students of The Academy and in turn used to prepare homemade meals and snacks for both daycare and Academy children
Healthy Food for our Children
Lennox Island Health Program
Promote good nutrition and healthy food choices by offering a variety of unique learning opportunities for children and parents centered on healthy foods
Good Food Box Initiative
Spring Park Elementary
Build community self-reliance and collaboration by bringing together key multi-sector groups to connect students and their families to local farmers in PEI. The project will provide community-based learning that promotes food literacy for students and teachers as well as community participation in making healthy food choices
Educate and Eat Locally
Merry Pop-Ins Childcare Centre Inc
Increase the availability of fresh local food on the menu at Merry Pop-Ins Childcare Centre by working with a local producer to modify the existing menu in order to incorporate more locally grown, seasonally available foods. The project will work with local producers to provide learning opportunities for both junior and preschool aged children with respect to various agriculture sectors
Tajikei – I am Healthy
Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre
Provide opportunities for vulnerable or marginalized communities on PEI by offering a variety of food education programs, which will promote health and social well-being of both parents and children
Building a Virtual Community to Address Food Security and Education
Canada’s Smartest Kitchen
Increase community capacity to address community food security by designing and building a virtual information hub of resources for projects and programs, which address the goal of province-wide community food security
Improving Food Literacy for a Healthy Island
Increase the availability of fresh local food on menus in schools by promoting the health and economic benefits of locally produced foods to schools while working to secure supplier partnerships
Cooking Together – An Educational and Collaborative Cooking Program
Provide community-based food learning experiences by offering collaborative cooking experiences both in a school and community format. Participants and students will utilize locally grown ingredients to create balanced and economical meals
Since they aligned with CFSFE priorities, two projects were selected to receive funding earlier this year (before the CFSFE committee was formed). They are:
Good Food, Good Health - The Morell Gardening Project
The Adventure Group PEI
This project supported students in learning how to grow food and maintain a garden on school property. Through indoor and outdoor learning activities, students learned about food, nutrition, wellness, agriculture and business
Good Food, Good Health - The Westisle Gardening Project
The Adventure Group PEI
This project supported students in learning how to grow food and maintain a garden on school property. Through community-based food learning experiences, students learned about agriculture on PEI and the work required to produce package, and sell healthy food.