What does 200,000 kids crunching into apples sound like? A School Food Revolution!

On March 9 at 2:30pm EST (and March 16 in Quebec), Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be readying their noisiest crunch to bring attention to the issue of children’s nutrition.

The Great Big Crunch is a nationwide event, organized by FoodShare Toronto, the Coalition for Healthy School Food and Food Secure Canada. It’s a moment of anti-silence that calls attention to the fact that Canada is falling behind other countries when it comes to feeding kids at school. Canada is one of the only industrialised countries without a national school food program, and the patchwork of programs across the country reaches only a small percentage of our five million students.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve collected incredible stories from schools across Canada from gymnasiums filled with the joyful noise of healthy eating, students tasting apples for the very first time and reports of loose teeth freed in the moment of the crunch.

Join the Choir of Crunches!

  • Click here to register Anyone can celebrate the importance of healthy eating in schools – whether you crunch on your own, in a classroom, a cafeteria or an office – grab some apples and prepare to join us!
  • Spread the word – Help us make this year the Greatest, Biggest, Crunchiest year yet – The more crunchers making noise about this issue, the better!
  • Try some new activities We’ve got lots of great resources and class activities available in French and English to add some more flare to your celebration
  • Ready your apples for March 9th at 2:30 EST (or whenever you can)  and share your crunch face with #GreatBigCrunch
  • Support the vision for a National School Food Program – visit the Coalition for Healthy School Food website to learn more about our vision. Like what you see? Call or write your MP to ask the federal government to invest in a national school food program.

Why it’s Crunch Time

Canadian children face a number of serious food-related problems. Poor diet is leading to kids developing chronic diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, once only diagnosed in adults. Two-thirds of children do not eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A third of elementary school students, and two-thirds of high school students do not eat a healthy breakfast before going to school, and 1.15 million Canadian children live in households that have trouble putting food on the table, leaving them at risk for physical and mental health problems and less able to concentrate in class.

For these reasons, a group of 34 Canadian organizations has banded together to form the Coalition for Healthy School Food. The Coalition is advocating for more investment in school food, including from the federal government, with the goal of creating a national program that provides healthy food for kids, every day, at low to no cost to parents.

On March 9th the Coalition for Healthy School Food has invited Members of Parliament to join in on a Great Big Crunch on Parliament Hill to seek their support and share our vision.

School food programs have the potential to solve a lot of problems. They have been shown to increase kids’ consumption of healthy foods like vegetables, fruit and whole grains and to decrease their consumption of saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars. They also improve children’s mental health, reducing cases of bullying, anxiety, and depression. Programs have been linked to an increase in cognitive skills and graduation rates, as healthy food allows students to concentrate in class. They can even support local agriculture if links are made between schools and farmers.

With the potential to increase children’s physical and mental health, their performance in school, and to support local farmers (all of which will lead to big savings for government), school food programs are a no brainer! So it’s really a shame that Canada has yet to invest in a national program.

Join us this March, along with hundreds of thousands of Canadians, as we make some noise and support a school food revolution!

About FoodShare

FoodShare is a non-profit organisation that works with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and food education. We believe everyone deserves access to affordable high-quality fresh food. Since 1985, FoodShare has pioneered innovative programs like the Good Food Box, impacted what kids eat in school, and improved the way people eat and grow food across Toronto every day.