WHAT IS THE GENERATION NUTRITION PROJECT?
Generation Nutrition is a mobile food garden education project that teaches Canadian youth how to grow and cook their own nutritious food, and equips them with life skills to create sustainable change for themselves and their communities.
Hand-in-hand with educators and community members, we work with Canadian schools to:
- Provide horticultural modules on how to grow, maintain, and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables from an innovative mobile gardening system that makes it possible to grow produce almost anywhere.
- Engage youth in experiential education modules, ensuring that they understand the issues around food insecurity and malnutrition and know how they can create sustainable change.
- Connect students with professionals from the food sector, including chefs, organic farmers, dieticians, gardeners, and market vendors.
- Teach students how to prepare and cook nutritious and affordable meals using the harvested produce, in partnership with local culinary schools and restaurants.
This signature program is adaptable to different age groups and can be fully integrated into school curriculum (math, biology, art, geography, etc.) to contribute to achieving learning objectives.
WHY DOES THIS PROJECT MATTER?
Four million Canadians, an equivalent of 12.7% of Canadian households, have experienced some level of nutrition insecurity (defined as inadequate or insecure access to nutritious and diverse food because of financial constraints).
In 2017, Canada ranked a shameful 37th out of the 41 richest countries in terms of household food insecurity and child obesity. One in six Canadian children under the age of 18 fall victim to:
- Poor health
- Iron deficiency
- Development risk and behaviour problems
- Anxiety and depression
- Poor school readiness and performance
- health disparities and poverty.
No level of food insecurity among children is acceptable, especially given the amount of food available in rich countries. With Generation Nutrition, we have the power to remedy this situation by taking immediate and sustainable action for our next generation.
WHY THIS “FARM-TO-TABLE” APPROACH?
- School gardens are beneficial for children, as they foster environmental stewardship, a healthy lifestyle, improved academic achievement, and community and social development.
- School gardens lead to better health, education, and food literacy skills. These all contribute, in the long-term, to a reduction of marginalization and poverty.
- School gardens also improve children’s overall wellbeing by reducing stress and teaching students how to manage their emotions.
You can act right now to improve the lives of Canadian communities affected by food insecurity by donating to Action Against Hunger!
Please contact us to learn more.
OUR PROJECT HAS ALREADY SHOWN INCREDIBLE RESULTS
In 2017, we launched Generation Nutrition in two schools of the Greater Toronto Area: Burrows Hall Junior Public School (in Scarborough) and Driftwood Public School (in the Jane/Finch area).
WHY THESE SCHOOLS?
Both schools are located in Neighborhood Improvement Areas (NIAs), defined as such by the City of Toronto based on ethnic, demographic, and socio-economic criteria. All NIAs are subject to a particular focus and funding in order to lift them out of marginalization by 2020.
We work with all schools that want to benefit from the positive and sustainable change that this project will bring, with a particular focus on those in underfunded communities.
Participating schools took part in:
- Horticultural workshops delivered by experienced gardeners from The Growing Connection.
- Interactive tasting sessions with a certified dietician.
- Guided visits to St Lawrence Market and to Kortright Centre for Conservation.
- Cooking workshops taught by chefs from George Brown Culinary School.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS SO FAR?
In only two months, the results are already considerable:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables are being harvested seasonally from 80 boxes.
- Youth and community members participated in educational modules on food and nutrition security (18 hours of interactive learning with professionals from the food sector).
- 300 children learned how to grow food in hands-on horticultural modules.
- Overall improvement in students’ wellbeing.
“This afternoon, one of our most difficult students was having a huge tantrum, and I asked her if she wanted to walk to the garden with me. We spent some time looking at the plants, talking about their growth, and then she began to open up. Now every time she feels like she’s going to have a meltdown, she’ll ask to go to the garden because it makes her feel good…it just goes to show what nature can do for us all.”
–Carmen, educator from Burrows Hall Junior Public School
TOGETHER, LET’S GROW GENERATION NUTRITION
Are you interested in having our signature program in your school / group?
Please contact us to learn more.
We owe it to the next generation to provide them with knowledge and food skills that encourage them to make informed and healthy choices. Will you help us achieve this?
FOR HEALTHY CHILDREN READY TO LEARN.
AGAINST ANY CHILD GOING TO SCHOOL ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
FOR INFORMED FOOD CHOICES.
AGAINST FOOD ILLITERACY.
FOR FOOD JUSTICE IN CANADA.
FOR A GENERATION NUTRITION.
FOR A TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE FROM HUNGER.