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Bringing Farm Fresh Food to Ontario Schools

By on April 1, 2013

(NC)—This past winter, schools across Ontario were invited to participate in a challenge. The assignment: to increase local food purchases and educate students about the benefits of eating locally grown food through an initiative called the Ontario Farm to School Challenge.

Foodshare, with a grant from the Greenbelt Fund helped create the program, which received over 200 school submissions and brought thousands of pounds of local Ontario fruits and vegetables to schools. Foodshare is a non-profit agency working to improve access to affordable and healthy food from field to table. The Greenbelt Fund is a program aimed at increasing local food at broader public sector institutions.

The first round winner, Waterford District High School, provided Grade 9 and 10 hospitality students with local products from Elgin and Norfolk counties to create recipes for their year-end projects.

Participating schools were assisted in sourcing their local food products through Ontariofresh.ca. The business-to-business site is a place where buyers and sellers of local food can profile their needs and availabilities. It is like LinkedIn, but for local food businesses. Best of all — it's free.

The Greenbelt Fund's grant program is aimed at increasing local food at broad public sector institutions, including schools. FoodShare will be hosting a final round of the Ontario Farm to School Challenge in October. Watch Ontariofresh.ca for updates.

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