Food Strategy Survey

So, the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy has gone and asked not only the council candidates their opinions on 'food' for Thunder Bay, but also the school board nominees.

The summary report of all the answers isn't out yet, but I'll let you see my responses.

In your opinion, what role do Trustees and School Boards play in improving school food environments? Please comment on the top three priorities you see.

The important role that the schools play for students is to prepare them for 'the outside world'. That could be helping them to understand healthy food options as well as availability and location of where local options may be located. School boards and their trustees can assist in ensuring that there is space in both the budget and physical location of buildings to have that opportunity. It can help encourage and work with the teachers to have the appropriate resources to do so.

Schools play an important role in student nutrition. As a Trustee, how would you use your role to ensure schools have the foundation, support, and philosophy to support healthy food environments?

I believe that having support for programs like 'farm to caf' and healthy breakfast programs are essential to ensuring that students have appropriate nutrition for their learning as well as having them prepared for the world beyond school. As a trustee our role would be to work with the programs that currently exist and see how we can support those educators to continue to succeed or find ways to grow those programs.

As mentioned by schools, barriers to school food gardens and programs are: people, funding and infrastructure. As a Trustee, how might you address these barriers?

As we would be looking at budgets that would be something we could look at and determine based on programming how we can assist. I feel that we can find ways to fill gaps in funding with outside assistance and grants (potentially sponsorships from businesses?). For people, this may become a budget question and we can see how we can shore up the budget to allow for people to be freed up to assist. Additionally, I believe it would be our role as trustees to highlight successes, and potentially from that could garner volunteers from the community who would like to support such initiatives when they hear about them. As for infrastructure, this could be either in physical location availability or this could be funding again. As a trustee we would have to look at site maps and the details of any programs and make sure they work appropriately.