Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy : School Food Environments Trustee Candidate Survey
The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy sent a survey to all candidates in the upcoming municipal elections, with questions regarding their commitment to improving access to healthy food for all, protecting food producing areas, and supporting food and farm businesses.
The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy is non-partisan. Candidates were required to complete each response by a firm deadline and limit their responses to 450 characters.
In your opinion, what role do Trustees and School Boards play in improving school food environments? Please comment on the top three priorities you see.
We play an important role in improving and supporting school food environments. We need to support and lead programs to ensure children have access to healthy food, learn about the importance of proper nutrition and eating good eating habits, and teach them to have an understanding about what is involved with growing and sustaining food. We can provide support for programs such as community gardens to educate children with hands on experience.
Schools play an important role in student nutrition. As a Trustee, how would you use your role to ensure schools have the foundation, support, and philosophy to support healthy food environments?
Nutrition plays a key role in healthy child development. Well nourished children are more likely to get the essential nutrients they need to grow, be active, stay healthy and do well at school. We need to support programs to ensure children have the support & resources they need to be able to learn about nutrition in the classroom, at home, and with hands-on educational experiences. We also need to ensure healthy food is available in our schools.
As mentioned by schools, barriers to school food gardens and programs are: people, funding and infrastructure. As a Trustee, how might you address these barriers?
I would be supportive of working on food garden initiatives. Studies on school gardens demonstrate that they can have many benefits for students, staff, and communities, including improved academic outcomes, increased physical activity, reduced stress, and an increased sense of community. Any barrier can be overcome if there is a public desire to support our children’s learning activities with educational programs such food gardens.