A new kind of school lunch

FoodShare is a Toronto-based organization that’s been working for many years on improving nutrition, food education and access to healthy food in schools. In partnership with other organizations, they introduced Canadians to the idea of salad bars as an alternative school lunch. They also make affordable produce available to schools, offer workshops on healthy eating and the food system for parents and teachers, and much more.

But it’s their latest venture in the school lunch world that’s getting a lot of attention. The Good Food Café, catering to Grade 7 and 8 kids at College Francais in Toronto’s west end, is a model of what a universal, healthy school cafeteria could be. With an emphasis on fresh fruit and veggies, local and organic (when possible) the Good Food Café sells full meals for $4.00 (Cdn)—comparable to other school cafeteria prices in the city.

Apparently, the café is winning everyone over with its delicious meals—proving once again that kids will eat healthy food so long as it looks good and tastes great.

The plan for the future is to get the students involved in hands-on preparation of the food—part of FoodShare’s larger campaign to improve kids’ food literacy. Called Recipe for Change, it’s a multi-part initiative that advocates for food education to be incorporated into the provincial curriculum—even as a requirement in order to graduate Grade 12.

Since food is connected to so many other things—health, the environment, social justice, international relations, history, cultural identity, etc.—it seems like a no-brainer. (They’re hosting a fundraiser for the Good Food Café next week—April 28— called The Full Moon Feast. You can buy tickets here.)

FoodShare already offers some great workshops that teachers interested in introducing food literacy to their students can take part in—everything from visiting an urban farm to learning about where chocolate comes from. Check them out here.

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