Vancouver Proclaims March 1, 2018 as “Great Big Crunch for Healthy School Food Day”

We are thrilled to share the City of Vancouver’s proclamation of March 1, 2018 as “Great Big Crunch for Healthy School Food Day” in Vancouver!

Councillor Adriane Carr, on behalf of the Mayor of Vancouver Gregor Robertson, presented the proclamation to the Children and Youth working group and the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

To learn more about the #GreatBigCrunch, visit the Coalition for Healthy School Food, and Food Share.


Whereas the City of Vancouver is dedicated to supporting a just and sustainable food system;

And Whereas the Vancouver Food Policy Council is a member of the national Coalition for Healthy School Food;

And Whereas Canada remains one of the only Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations without a federally supported school meal program which has been called for by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food;

And Whereas a recent UNICEF report ranked Canada 37 of 41 high income countries around the provision of healthy food to children;

And Whereas school food programs are one tool for addressing childhood hunger at school;

And Whereas school food programs and have been proven to increase scholastic success across socio-economic classes and increase children’s consumption of vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods, and decrease the consumption of unhealthy ones;

And Whereas: The Great Big Crunch is a key initiative of the Coalition for Healthy School Food that celebrates healthy food for all children and youth across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved: I, Gregor Robertson, Mayor of the City of Vancouver, and City Council DO HEREBY PROCLAIM that the day of March 1, 2018 as


June 22nd VFPC meeting

Wednesday, June 22nd, 6-8:30pm, Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall
All Welcome

The regular business of the VFPC will be followed by the following special feature on school food, which starts at 6:55pm. Full meeting agenda here.

School Food Systems in Vancouver and Beyond

The Vancouver Food Policy Council recently joined the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which is seeking a significant investment from the federal government to fund a universal school meal program in Canada. To develop a better understanding of the school food system in Vancouver, the School Food working group of the VFPC will host an evening that brings various perspectives to the issue. Jessica Land from the Vancouver School District will begin by providing an overview of meal supports in schools in the district, and Sarah Carten of the City of Vancouver will describe the funding that the City provided to meals this past year. Following this, a panel of diverse speakers will provide unique outlooks on a series of three questions. Laura Track will speak to children’s legal right through the international Right to Food framework. Brent Mansfield will provide a province-wide perspective on the landscape of school food, and Matthew Kemshaw will provide his views from his experience delivering food programming in Vancouver. An open discussion will conclude the evening.

Speaker Bios

Jessica Land is the Supervisor, Enhanced Services at the Vancouver Board of Education. She has been working in Education and Community Development for over twenty years in a variety of capacities in public and non-profit agencies.  Her current position focuses on ensuring supports and services are in place for those learners who may face barriers (e.g. socio economic challenges) in reaching their educational goals.

Sarah Carten is a Social Planner at the City of Vancouver where she works on the implementation of the Food Strategy. Prior to joining the City’s food policy team last year, she worked for over a decade as a public health dietitian with several health authorities. She worked on programs, plans, policy, and research related to early childhood, school health, and food security.

Laura Track is a lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association, Canada’s oldest and most active civil liberties and human rights organization. Laura works primarily on legal cases that raise issues under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 2015, she authored a report entitled “Hungry for Justice: Advancing a Right to Food for Children in BC”, which argued for an enforceable right to food under the Charter.

Matthew Kemshaw is currently Farm to School BC’s Vancouver Area Animator, and is also a program manager with the Environmental Youth Alliance and the LifeCycles Project Society. Matthew has worked as an environmental educator for the last decade, with a focus on schoolyard food gardens and school food systems.

Brent Mansfield has broad interests and experience in food systems policy, planning and education and is passionate about working collaboratively across sectors to catalyze change in the food system. He is the Director of the BC Food Systems Network, a provincial network focused on developing more healthy, just and sustainable food systems in urban, rural and remote communities across British Columbia. He is also currently working on a contract as the Project Lead for Food Literacy in Schools with the Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH-BC), supporting school communities across the province to work together to take a whole school approach to food literacy. From 2010-2014 he worked as the Community Liaison and Food Policy Research Lead for the Think&EatGreen@School Project, playing a number of roles around partnerships, professional development and policy development. Previous to working at UBC he was the Garden Program Coordinator the Garden at Grandview/¿uuquinak’uuh Elementary School and a teacher in the Vancouver School Board.