Fresh food carts in five Nova Scotia schools will support farmers and give students greater access to locally grown produce, help them understand where food comes from, and fuel their learning.
The $100,000 pilot project was recently launched by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Nova Scotia Health. Access to healthy, nutritious food at school is an important part of supporting students’ learning and development.
“We are funding these fresh food carts in schools to support buying local, give our farmers an expanded market for their produce, and teach young people to choose a healthy variety of foods,” said Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow.
The food carts are large, portable salad bars containing Nova Scotian-grown carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, apples and other seasonal produce.
The food carts are open for student lunches Tuesdays and Thursdays each week at the following schools 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).
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.
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
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
There are vegetables here I never get to have at home. I’m going to come everyday it’s open.
Lauren Brown, Grade 10 student, Springhill Junior-Senior High
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
There are way too many options, but I love it.
Jackie Dunphy, Grade 12 student, Springhill Junior-Senior High
It’s so nice having a variety of fresh food options for students to enjoy on a regular basis.
Alex Crowe, teacher, Springhill Junior-Senior High
- the three-month pilot will be evaluated and may be expanded to other schools
- the government provides $1.7 million annually to support healthy food in schools through Nova Scotia’s universal breakfast program
News release – Government Funding Supports Local Food Production: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20221216001
News release – More Local Food Coming to Northwood: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20221209003
Buy Local Directory: https://buylocal.novascotia.ca/