The PEI Home and School Federation is the umbrella organization of local “home and school” and “parent council” organizations in 55 schools across Prince Edward Island. We bring together parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff to promote the total well-being of children and the highest standards of education for each child in the province.
The Prince Edward Island provincial school food strategy will be a model for how all stakeholders in education can be brought together to promote their shared values for the benefit and wellbeing of all Island children.
The strategy will be developed and nurtured through a collaboration of students, parents and guardians, government departments, primary industries, cooks and chefs. The following principles will guide the implementation of the strategy.
1. We will create school environments that make healthy choices easiest for students.
Good food and authentic hospitality nurture the whole child and invite collaboration and success. We will create inviting and safe environments within schools and provide enough time for eating, discussion, sharing and learning around food. We will offer opportunities for students to open up to new, shared food experiences and local food possibilities.
2. We will create school food programs that are universal, inclusive and equitable.
We will provide adequate, nutritious food to all school-aged children in Prince Edward Island, regardless of their ability to pay, the availability of resources in the community, or the location of the school. We will ensure that hunger is not a barrier to learning for any child. We will serve a variety of foods in recognition of the diversity of the student population and we will create an environment of respect for every person’s inherent value and celebrate their potential to contribute to their school and community.
3. Young people will be given opportunities to drive the school food programs.
We will make schools a hub for food activity and emphasize developing the capacity of young people to advocate for their own needs. We will provide students with regular opportunities to collaborate with students from other Island schools.
4. We will provide opportunities for curriculum integration.
We will provide opportunities for hands on learning, service learning, citizenship and community projects, social entrepreneurship and articulation agreements with post-secondary institutions. Integration with the curriculum will allow students to prepare and grow food, make healthy choices outside school, think critically about the food system and media, and develop self-awareness and confidence.
5. We will work with local farmers, fishers and processors to emphasize the value of fresh, local, sustainable, seasonal food.
We will engage grassroots stakeholders and respect the assets and resources already available in schools and communities. We will place a high emphasis on local, seasonal food and we will aim for sustainability by building support and capacity at the community level.
6. We will secure additional funding and resources to ensure that programs are properly staffed and funded to be sustainable and create significant impact.
Volunteers are valued in schools, but sustainable funding and dedicated staff are vital. The provincial school food strategy will not be an added responsibility for school staff and volunteers. We will implement pilot projects that will aid in developing processes that clarify expectations for schools and school staff.
7. We will set achievable goals with clear targets and timelines to measure success.
Achievable goals will be set and progress toward these goals will be monitored. Evaluation measures will include indicators relating to, but not limited to, the availability of healthy food in schools, the wellbeing of students, food literacy, attendance and academic achievement, the cost of the program, amount of local food accessed by the school food program, the economic multiplier effect of local food procurement, and the time and resources required by school staff and volunteers. Successes will be celebrated!
Posted by Shirley Smedley-Jay on Friday, March 17, 2017.