How do you get kids excited about kale? How do you help students develop the values and skills to save seeds? What’s the first step in creating a school garden? Now with two regional hubs in Northern BC, Farm to School BC can help answer these questions (and so many more!).
Farm to School BC is a healthy eating program of the Public Health Association of BC. It works to bring local, nourishing, and sustainable foods into schools while building students’ food literacy through hands-on learning. Since establishing the first Farm to School BC Hub in Northwest BC in 2019, the movement has flourished. In 2021, a second hub was launched in Northern BC in the North Central region. This hub serves all schools within the areas of school districts 57 (Prince George), 28 (Quesnel), and 91 (Nechako Lakes).
Meet your local Farm to School BC community animators
Each hub has a community animator who works to strengthen connections between schools and local food. Within the Northern BC region, Margo Peill and Roanne Whitticase work with schools, farmers, and other partners to support school projects. The hubs also host networking opportunities such as learning circles, professional development days, and spring celebration events.
Margo Peill, Farm to School BC community animator, Northwest Regional Hub
Originally from Nova Scotia, Margo is grateful to now live on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Tsimshian People in Terrace, BC. With an academic background in health promotion and community development, she thrives on bringing people together around food systems and learning from the land. Margo has a not-so-secret love for growing and arranging flowers, and helps run Fernweh Farmstead, a specialty cut-flower farm.
Roanne Whitticase, Farm to School BC community animator, North Central Regional Hub
Roanne Whitticase, farmer and local food system enthusiast, lives, works, and grows as part of Three Seeds Farm on the traditional territory of Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, in Prince George, BC. Roanne initially studied health sciences, but shifted from clinical health to food security and local food initiatives. She is grateful to be part of the Farm to School BC team, and is dedicated to enhancing food literacy within schools and communities.
It all starts with a seed (or a grant!)
Farm to School BC offers grants of up to $3,000 to support a variety of local food-to-school projects. With a record number of applicants this past year, they were delighted to be able to support the following schools:
- École Roosevelt Community School (Prince Rupert)
- École Mountainview (Terrace)
- Suwilaawks Community School (Terrace)
- Two schools in School District 91 (Nechako Lakes)
- Blackburn Elementary (Prince George)
- Giscome Elementary (Willow River)
- Voyageur Elementary (Quesnel)
From Indigenous plants and indoor tower gardens to farm field trips, these schools will be forging ahead with their projects this spring! For more information, visit Farm to School BC’s grants page or reach out to your regional Farm to School community animator.
Stay tuned for Part 2 to hear about inspiring projects happening in schools, and the many resources offered through Farm to School BC!
This story was co-written with Margo Peill and Roanne Whitticase from Farm to School BC, a healthy eating program administered by the Public Health Association of BC.