Montreal, November 30, 2023 - On November 22, Chantier PASUQ successfully held the first-ever Forum on School Food in Quebec, bringing together over 150 participants at the Cruise Terminal in Quebec City, and close to 300 online attendees. This historic event brought together major stakeholders in school food, education, daycare, health and social services, social economy and sustainable development, not to mention representatives of First Nations and Inuit. The participation of a wide range of stakeholders demonstrated the significant mobilization across the province in favor of the implementation of a universal school feeding program in Quebec, which would enable all schoolchildren to be fed healthy, local and sustainable food, regardless of their socio-economic situation.
Participants heard the results of an 18-month research project conducted across Quebec (available in French only) to understand school food and identify best practices that could inspire the implementation of a school food program. IRIS researcher Anne Plourde also presented an estimate of the anticipated costs and benefits of such a program. Finally, the Chantier PASUQ steering committee presented the first lines of its proposal for a school food program, based on the reflections of over 1,200 people and some forty exchange events. (Please see the presentation here - available in French only).
Chantier PASUQ embodies a holistic vision of school nutrition, focusing on health as a lever for public health and the fight against food insecurity at school. Feeding all children promotes educational success while reducing social inequalities in health.
Chantier PASUQ positions itself as a promoter of food literacy by integrating food education through healthy school breakfasts, snacks and lunches, with an adapted meal context and quality training for staff. As a driver of economic and community development, it promotes the use of local foods and eco-responsible practices, involving public institutions and local organizations.
Chantier PASUQ makes flexibility and adaptability to local conditions pillars, with regional consultation bodies and collaboration with school service centers. Universality is a goal, guaranteeing accessibility to healthy, sustainable meals and food education, with costs shared between governments, parents and other funders.
Chantier PASUQ is firmly committed to ensuring that the Indigenous communities control of programs for their children, respecting the principles of Indigenous food sovereignty. Supported by accompanying measures and accountability, PASUQ is built on a common foundation, with a requirement for ongoing evaluation to ensure its effectiveness and positive impact.
During the meals, participants were treated to menus and snacks prepared by organizations working in Quebec schools, such as Breakfast Club of Canada, Pignon Bleu, a member of Cantine pour Tous, and Tablée des Chefs' Kitchen Brigades.
In the second part of the event, guests were able to deepen their reflections on the themes of territorial food systems, healthy, local and sustainable food procurement practices, the place of the social economy, desired food literacy practices, PASUQ governance and deployment, not to mention the co-development of sustainable food education practices.
Chantier PASUQ expresses its gratitude to all the partners who made this event possible. Our warmest thanks go to all the organizations involved, who shared their expertise, knowledge and innovative practices. Their contribution was essential to the success of this historic forum. Let's keep up the good work, so that the government commits to setting up a committee to develop a universal school food program in Quebec.
What we can do next:
Let's unite our voices
The campaign in support of a universal school feeding program in Quebec is still going on, at www.bienmangeralecole.ca. Don't hesitate to add your signature and share in your networks!
Watch for a pre-budget submission in January 2024!
Your support will be important for the next steps.
Consult our map of non-profit organizations and regional or national school food initiatives in Quebec, and add your logo to continue building it with us!
About Chantier PASUQ Chantier PASUQ brings together a number of partners working in the fields of school food, food safety, the environment and sustainable development, and school childcare. Its objective is to document, evaluate and paint a portrait of school feeding practices, with a view to making concerted recommendations for the eventual implementation of a universal school feeding program in Quebec. The project is an initiative of the Breakfast Club of Canada and members of the Collectif québécois of the Coalition for Healthy School Food.
For more information, please visit www.pasuq.org
Contact Maëlle Brouillette, Chantier PASUQ coordinator at email@example.com