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Fresh, local food now available in schools with new pilot program

By Caitlin Snow Apr 11, 2023 | 2:26 PM

Army Medicine / CC

Five schools in Nova Scotia will now have access to fresh, local food.

The $100,000 three-month pilot project launched by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Nova Scotia Health, will help students understand where food comes from and to fuel learning.

They will receive large, portable salad bars with Nova Scotia-grown produce.

The food carts are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education:
— Springhill Junior-Senior High (grades 7-12)
— Tatamagouche Regional Academy (grades Primary-12)
— Elmsdale District School (grades Primary-5)
— G.R. Saunders Elementary, Stellarton (grades Primary-6)
— Winding River Consolidated, Stewiacke (grades Primary-6).

“We know that good nutrition is fundamental to learning and helping students be the best they can be. Equitable access to healthy, whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, is an important part of students’ achievement and well-being.”
– Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Child Development

“I can’t believe we get the chance to eat all this fresh food — that’s amazing! Can we do this all the time?”
– Faith Atkinson, Grade 11, Springhill Junior-Senior High

“I’d like to go to the food cart every week. I made the best salad!”
– Abbie Rose Barker, Grade 7, Springhill Junior-Senior High

“Providing children in our schools with access to healthy, locally grown food is important to us as farmers. We believe that healthy food is the foundation to healthy populations. Nova Scotia’s farm families are passionate about providing this healthy, safe, local food for your tables, our schools and our communities. We are pleased to see another pilot project related to institutional procurement. More local food purchased by institutions like schools helps strengthen our rural economy by supporting our family businesses.”
– Allan Melvin, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture is working to get more locally grown and produced foods in schools, hospitals, and in long-term care and correctional facilities. It also has a goal to ensure that at least 20 per cent of food purchased by Nova Scotians is locally grown by 2030.

If the program goes well, it will be expanded to other schools across the province.

The government provides $1.7 million annually to support healthy food in schools through Nova Scotia’s universal breakfast program.


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