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Community food security and education projects announced for P.E.I.

A pilot project aims to put more fresh, local food on the menus at three P.E.I. schools.
P.E.I. Certified Organic Producers Cooperative, says her group will receive funding to provide Queen Elizabeth students with local and organic foods for lunch. - SaltWire Network

KENSINGTON, P.E.I. - Community groups, schools and early childhood centres will have more resources to teach Islanders about fresh and local food – including students at Queen Elizabeth Elementary in Kensington.

Research co-ordinator Karen Murchison, of the P.E.I. Certified Organic Producers Cooperative, says her group will receive funding to provide Queen Elizabeth students with local and organic foods for lunch. It is one of 17 projects receiving a total of $119,550 from the provincial government’s Community Food Security and Food Education Program (CFSFEP), which will teach youth and their families where local food comes from and how it is produced.

“We are excited to work with staff, students and parents at the school, as well as many exceptional food producers from the area,” said Murchison in a press release. “It is encouraging for us as an industry organization to know that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is committed to ensuring the highest quality of nutrition for students in our Island schools.”

“We are excited to work with staff, students and parents at the school, as well as many exceptional food producers from the area.”
-Karen Murchison

The community food security and education program is a joint effort with the province’s departments of Agriculture and Fisheries, Health and Wellness and Education, Early Learning and Culture. It is intended to promote good nutrition and healthy food choices, build community self-reliance, link farmers to consumers and build pride and joy in preparing foods.

Successful projects were chosen from 33 applications. A committee with knowledge and experience in community food security provided recommendations to the department. The committee was developed based on best practices from other organizations and jurisdictions.

"We're very pleased by the enthusiasm, creativity and capacity that was demonstrated in the proposed projects,” said CFSFEP coordinator Bobby Thomas Cameron. “We're looking forward to sharing with Islanders the outcomes and impacts these projects will have on community food security in Prince Edward Island."

Community food security and education is a top priority for his department, and government is pleased to support sustainable local food systems to address these priorities, said Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac.

“Leaders in these projects are empowering our schools, youth and families to build strong communities across our province.”

For more information, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/foodsecurity.

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