Universal School Lunch Program

At the 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Federation, members adopted a resolution calling for the establishment of a universal free school lunch program. Since that time the Federation has been working toward the implementation of this project; this has included, to date:

  • A “summit meeting” of primary producers, educators, chefs, dietitians and others in June 2015 to talk about the broad challenges and opportunities of the program.
  • Participation in the Canada-wide Coalition for Healthy School Food.
  • Screening of the film Cafeteria Man in the fall of 2016.
  • Organization of a visit by U.S. Chef Tony Geraci, the subject of Cafeteria Man, in October 2016 for a weeklong series of meetings with students, teachers, parents, administrators, chefs, farmers and producers, processors and politicians.
  • Featuring a prototypical healthy, local school lunch at the Fall 2016 Semi-Annual Meeting of members.

Chef Tony Geraci Talking to Students about Food

The core of Chef Tony Geraci's approach to school food is an unshakable belief in the power of students.

The power of students to talk about food. To understand food. To come up with plans for better food.

The power of students to read and understand labels. To know what whole grains are. To wonder why the apples they drive by on the way to school aren't the apples they're served in the cafeteria.

In his travels to Prince Edward Island schools this week, that's the message Tony's been delivering to students: you have the power to change school food.

So far Tony's visited Kinkora Regional High School, where he talked to a group of engaged students about how they're growing food on school property, and cooking it up to serve to their peers.

Cafeteria Food Services Request for Proposals, 2013

In May of 2013 the English Language School Board (now known as Public Schools Branch) issued a Request for Proposals for the Provision of Cafeteria Food Services. The RFP mentions the cafeteria food services for

  • Athena Consolidated
  • Birchwood Intermediate
  • Bluefield High
  • Charlottetown Rural High
  • Colonel Gray High
  • East Wiltshire Intermediate
  • Hernewood Intermediate
  • Kensignton Intermediate/Sr High
  • Kinkora High School
  • M. E. Callaghan Intermediate
  • Montague Regional High
  • Queen Charlotte Intermediate
  • Souris Regional High
  • Stonepark Intermediate
  • Summerside Intermediate
  • Westisle Composite High

but also mentions that the contract could by “for all schools or any number of individual schools.”

Chef Tony Geraci visits Epekwitk Gardens and Preserves

On the afternoon of October 23, 2016, Chef Tony Geraci was honoured to be invited to tour Epekwitk Gardens and Preserves on the Abegweit First Nation.

Chef Geraci is on Prince Edward Island for a week at the invitation of the PEI Home and School Federation; he is visiting many individuals and groups involved in growing, processing, preparing and eating food, and the visit to Epekwitk Gardens provided him with an opportunity to see up close how healthy local food is being produced at scale through community initiative. In conversations with Chief Brian Francis, staff and volunteers of the project, and members of the local community, he was able to share his own experiences with community-scale agriculture, and to suggest ways in which the Epekwitk Gardens could become part of the Island-side school food system.

Premier MacLauchlan Cooks with Chef Tony Geraci

This past Sunday, October 23, Premier Wade MacLauchlan graciously hosted Chef Tony Geraci to cook with him and his partner Duncan McIntosh at The Mill in New Glasgow.

The meal they cooked – from a variety of local, healthy ingredients – was shared by a small group of home and school volunteers around a table where local, healthy school food was the topic of the day.

Chef Geraci is on Prince Edward Island this week at the invitation of the PEI Home and School Federation to shine light on our project to introduce a universal school lunch program to the Island's schools; he has done this in other jurisdictions, and is here to share his insights and experiences with Islanders.

Free Screening of "Cafeteria Man" on September 19

The PEI Home and School Federation is presenting a free screening of the film Cafeteria Man on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Culinary Institute Lecture Theatre at 4 Sydney Street in Charlottetown.

Cafeteria Man asks the question “How can we reform school food programs so that they serve more nutritious and tasty meals for our kids, and are also more sustainable for our communities?”

Provincial Lunch Program Resolution Updated

The resolution from Montague Consolidated School Home and School Association and Montague Regional High School Parent Council calling for the establishment of a Provincial Lunch Program has been updated following from a meeting with the PEI Healthy Eating Alliance and some additional research spurred by the meeting. The resolution has been broadened to include all children, and the “whereas” clauses have been supplemented with additional references.

The resolution is now titled Establish a Provincial School Lunch Program for All Island Children and this revised version is the one that should be discussed and voted on at your local meetings, and that will be brought forward at our Annual General Meeting on April 11, 2015.

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