Since 2008, FoodShare’s Great Big Crunch has been making noise in classrooms across the province. It is a day of local food education in the classroom ending with the distribution of healthy and delicious local apples and a synchronized ‘Great Big’ classroom ‘Crunch'.
Although the Ontario apple shortage this past season meant that students across the country were crunching anything from carrots to cucumber, this only helped to raise local food awareness with teachers and students across the country. This annual call-to-action in support of healthy and local food has seen nearly half a million Ontario students participate over the last 6 years.
I was able to join in the fun at Foodshare’s headquarters in Toronto, along with the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Teresa Piruzza and thirty grade three students from Brock Elementary for a giant, coordinated group crunch. Seeing all those kids excited about healthy fruits and vegetables was a heartwarming and hopeful sight!
One of the standout successes this year was Peterborough and surrounding area, with more than 5,000 teachers and students participating. Foodshare’s Student Nutrition and School Program Senior Manager Meredith Hayes attributed this success in part to the promotional activities surrounding the Ontario Farm to School Challenge, which was hosted on Ontariofresh.caand supported by a grant from the Greenbelt Fund.
We look forward to working with Foodshare and Sustain Ontario on two more Ontario Farm to School Challenges in May and October 2013!
Communications & Program Manager