Plenary | School Food in Canada: State of the Plate

November 13th | Plenary | School Food in Canada: State of the Plate

November 13th 2015 | 09:30 - 10:30

Panelists will highlight the current state of school food in Canada and engage in a lively discussion on directions, supports, and challenges to changing the menu for school food.

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  National   |     Le Grand Salon   |    EN & FR (simultaneous translation)) 

Joanne Bays, National Manager, Farm to Cafeteria Canada
Debbie Field, Executive Director, Foodshare
Murielle Vrins, Project Manager, Équiterre
Mary McKenna, PhD, RD, Professor, University of New Brunswick

Topics include: changing food systems to bring healthy, local, sustainable food to schools, advancing food literacy, sustainability of school food, school nutrition policies, and school food programs that increase student access to food.

Joanne Bays

National Manager, Farm to Cafeteria Canada

Joanne Bays is well known within public health and sustainable food system sectors in Canada and internationally. Joanne co-founded and chaired HEALBC – Canada’s first northern food policy council. She co-founded BC Healthy Communities. She established and held the first provincial Farm to School position within Canada. She has overseen the establishment of hundreds of F2S programs across the nation. In 2011, she co-founded Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) - a pan-Canadian network championing activity to get more healthy, local, and sustainable foods into public institutions.

Debbie Field

Directrice générale, FoodShare Toronto

Debbie Field is the Executive Director at FoodShare and represents community development on Student Nutrition Toronto, a multi-stakeholder partnership supporting 175,000 students having a healthy meal daily. FoodShare works to increase access, knowledge and consumption of vegetables and fruits through community led projects in schools and neighbourhoods in which 263,000 participate. Debbie came to FoodShare after helping to organize a lunch program at her children’s school.

Murielle Vrins

Project Manager, Institutional Food Procurement, Équiterre
Murielle Vrins focuses her energies in awareness-raising  and public education about local, organic and fair-trade food. She is a graduate in environmental science and has been with Équiterre for the past 12 years. Murielle works with Quebec institutions to increase the share of local and sustainable foods in their menus. Through various projects with childcare centres, schools , health institutions and universities, she has mobilized a large number of these environments and worked with producers , suppliers and food concessions to facilitate procurement of local food.

Mary McKenna

PhD, RD, Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick
Mary McKenna, PhD, RD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton and a Registered Dietitian.  She teaches courses in nutrition and health promotion, conducts research on school nutrition policies, and works with various Canadian groups to promote healthy eating in schools.