Celebrating Healthy School Food Programs with The Great Big Crunch 2022

Updated: Mar 9

Written by: Nina Trask and Nicole Weber, MPH (c), University of Toronto, and Jack (Jingkai) Chen, MPH, Queen's University


Learn more about the Great Big Crunch by listening to this podcast


The Coalition is excited to announce the return of the Great Big Crunch 2022! The Great Big Crunch is an anti-silence movement which brings together students, teachers, parents, and others passionate about food to crunch into apples, and other crunchy fruits and veggies, to make noise for healthy school food. The event aims to bring awareness to the school food movement in Canada, highlighting the power of community and sharing food together.


The Great Big Crunch is part of a greater global celebration for healthy school food as March 10th is International Schools Meals Day! The organization Children in Scotland are helping bring the global voices together to make an even bigger noise as Canadians are crunching and joining the international conversation on school foods! Back home, Canada is building momentum as discussions about school food ARE HAPPENING (!!) with the release of the recent federal mandate letters.

This years’ theme is unity and connectedness, that even during the darkest days of winter we can find joy in a shared crunch together! We look forward to crunching in solidarity for healthy school food and we are grateful to the thousands of community members and organizations across Canada who have stepped up to provide food for children in and out of schools during COVID-19.

As Canada continues to work through the pandemic, school foods have become an increasingly important part of the conversation and have been regarded as an essential service. As the only G7 country without a national school food program, Canada is in the perfect position to learn from other countries that have successfully implemented school food programs. From an international perspective, there is lots to be gained from school foods, including designing school food programs based around the sustainable development goals.

​See the Coalition’s 8 Guiding Principles to learn more about the potential for a universal, healthy and locally adaptable school food program across Canada to provide a healthy meal every day for every child.

Moving forward with locally adapted programs, we need to learn directly from our youths and communities!


If you, a family member or a friend have any stories or experiences about school food programs that you would like to share, please send them to Gustave at gustave@healthyschoolfood.ca. We would love to hear more from Canadians about what they expect out of a healthy school food program. This is a momentous occasion, and the input we offer today will inform the implementation of tomorrow.


How to join the momentum:


1. Get Ready to Crunch!


2. Let’s Crunch Together!

3. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!

  • Join our virtual Canada-wide crunch: Register for the Canada-wide Great Big Crunch that will take place on Thursday, March 10 from 1 - 1:30 pm EST! Together, we will make some noise for a healthy school food program across Canada. Kid-friendly activities start at 1:15 pm and the Crunch will take place at 1:25 pm.

4. Share your Crunch to Support Healthy School Food!

  • Share your crunches on social media to further the conversation! We created a Communication toolkit with template posts, graphics, Twibbons, invitations for school, and more to help you create your social media post.


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