Vancouver K-12 schools are getting a leg up in food and sustainability issues thanks to the Think&EatGreen@School Project.
Launched in 2010, the Think&EatGreen@School Project is a five-year interdisciplinary study that explores innovative ways to teach students about the impact of individual food choices on the planet’s limited land and water resources.
“During our first year, close to 400 UBC students worked on projects in 21 Vancouver public schools,” said Alejandro Rojas, LFS Associate Professor and principal investigator of the Think&EatGreen@School Project. We intended to reduce the number but now we have 39 schools involved in Think7EatGreen@School.
This included a team of LFS 350 students who took part in a Farm-to-School Salad Bar Assessment project at David Lloyd George Elementary. The students worked with a registered dietician to analyze the cafeteria lunch menu and identify potential areas for improvement. Using Canada’s Food Guide and their knowledge of seasonally available fresh produce, the team devised menu changes and searched for a supplier that could deliver locally sourced, affordable food for the school’s 180 students.
At Kitsilano Secondary, students from our LFS 250 course helped to create a Garden Maintenance and Management plan. The project included making maps of the school’s garden area, conducting and analyzing a soil sample, and performing a solar analysis. The students also recommended particular crops that would thrive in the school’s soil and climate. Their findings will be used to improve the current garden.
The Think&EatGreen@School project also created an opportunity for public schools to become a “Think&EatGreen@School” school by submitting their own projects in the form of small grant applications of up to $2,000 to implement food initiatives. Fourteen schools obtained the small grants and are collaborating with the Think&EatGreen@School team and UBC students to implement them this academic year.
In July, the Project also offered the First Summer Institute. Using the LFS Orchard Garden, the FNH Teaching Kitchen and Agora, some 80 teachers, academics, chefs, restaurateurs, urban farmers and farmers planted, harvested, prepared, ate and celebrated amazing healthy, local and organic food, designed innovative curriculum and pedagogy and attended a dozen of specialized workshops covering the whole range of subjects involved in sustainable food systems, health and environment.
For more information on the Think&EatGreen@School Project, please visit www.thinkeatgreen.ca