More students can enjoy fresh, local food at lunchtime with the arrival of fresh food carts at their schools.
A provincial pilot project that supports farmers by promoting locally grown or produced foods has started at eight schools in the Strait Regional Centre for Education.
“We’re promoting local foods, and part of that is helping some of the biggest kitchens in our province find ways to get more local foods on the menu,” said Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow. “Fresh food carts at our schools help our farmers get their local products on more plates while giving students more healthy options.”
The food carts are large, portable salad bars offering Nova Scotia-grown carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, apples and other seasonal produce.
Schools participating in the three-month, $200,000 pilot project at the Strait Regional Centre for Education are:
- Dalbrae Academy, Southwest Mabou (grades 9-12)
- Inverness Education Centre/Academy (grades Primary-12)
- Tamarac Education Centre, Port Hawkesbury (grades Primary-8)
- Antigonish Education Centre (grades Primary-4)
- Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy (grades Primary-12)
- Richmond Education Centre/Academy, Louisdale (grades 5-12)
- East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy, Monastery (grades Primary-12)
- Saint Mary’s Education Centre/Academy, Sherbrooke (grades Primary-12).
The first food cart pilot project was launched in April at participating schools in the Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education.
The pilot projects are supported by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Nova Scotia Health.
I’m so excited that we are continuing to expand access to local food in schools and that this innovative fresh food pilot program will now be reaching more Nova Scotian students in more schools. It’s so important to give our kids these first-hand opportunities to learn about nutrition and understand where their food comes from.
Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Child Development
Nova Scotia farmers are proud to contribute to the health of our communities by providing nutritious, locally grown foods. Our farm families place significant value on ensuring that children and youth can access fresh, local produce, while connecting to where it is grown. We are encouraged by this project and look forward to the government’s increased efforts to ensure more local food in our institutions. We know it will foster the health, economic well-being and vitality of our communities and future generations.
Allan Melvin, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
Healthy food carts are important for the schools because they promote good nutrients and overall health. These food carts help ensure that children have access to balanced meals during the school day, or they might not receive that at home.
Nicole Googoo, Grade 11 student, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy
I think it’s great. Fresh for four dollars – it’s a great deal.
Calum Powers, Grade 9 student, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy
I think it’s amazing. I absolutely love the salad, many varieties, and very delicious.
Danika Lafford-Desmond, Grade 10 student, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy
It’s good and cheap, and it tastes good.
Keenan Allain, Grade 7 student, East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy
- 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
- the Department has a mandate to ensure that at least 20 per cent of food purchased by Nova Scotians is locally grown by 2030