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Promoting Local Food and Healthy Eating in Local Schools

Ontario Supporting Unique Fundraising Program

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With the support of Ontario farmers, Ontario is helping students learn more about local food, agriculture and the importance of healthy eating, while also raising funds to support their schools.

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, met with students from Perth Avenue Junior Public School in Toronto today to help sort and bundle fresh, local fruit and vegetables to take home to their families.

This year, nearly 500 schools across Ontario have participated in this unique fundraising program where students have raised over $1 million dollars to support their schools by selling locally grown produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and apples.

Promoting local food and healthy eating in schools is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. This includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Fresh from the Farm is a healthy fundraising program that improves students with food literacy while helping them to get more local fruits and vegetables in lunch boxes across the province.
  • Fresh from the Farm is a collaborative partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Dietitians of Canada and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
  • In 2017, the Fresh from the Farm program was available to all publicly funded schools, First Nations schools, and as a pilot, privately funded schools in Toronto were eligible to participate.
  • Fresh from the Farm aligns with Ontario’s School Food and Beverage Policy and Ontario’s Local Food Act.
  • Since 2013, more than 1,100 schools have participated, generating nearly $3 million in local food sales representing more than 2.7 million pounds of Ontario’s fresh produce.

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