Presentation on theme: "Provincial School Nutrition Policies and Food Security"— Presentation transcript:
1 Provincial School Nutrition Policies and Food Security ByMary McKennaUniversity of New BrunswickJanuary 2013
2 Overview Evidence on school nutrition programs School nutrition policy Policy comparisonsAccess to foodPricingLocal foodsFood marketingOrganizations that fund school nutrition programs
3 Evidence School nutrition programs have been found wanting*: As an instrument of social policy and for reducing inequitiesIn trying to feed hungry children in a non-stigmatizing mannerAs an area of potential investment by the Canadian federal government, which regards such services as provincial/territorial jurisdiction exclusivelyIn terms of providing unequivocal strong evidence that they have an important positive effect on children’s learning*Canadian context – no discussion of role of such programs in other countries
4 Evidence Improve likelihood of eating breakfast Assist with meeting nutrition requirementsImprove dietary statusIncrease vegetable and fruit consumptionImprove healthimprove weight status and serum cholesterolImprove school performanceImprove attendance and on-time arrival at schoolThere exists no “safe” level of inadequate nutrition for healthy, growing children. Even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short duration – a missed breakfast, an inadequate lunch – impair children’s ability to function and learn. Brown, Beardslee, Prowthrow-Stith, 2008
5 School Nutrition Policy Framework to guide school planning, implementation, and evaluation pertaining to student nutrition and healthPromote normsReflect national dietary guidanceConsider cultural and dietary practices
6 Type of School Nutrition Policy ProvincePolicyALRecommended guidelinesQCProvincial guidelines for recommended board actionMNProvincial guidance on required district policiesSKNSProvincially required policy and recommended guidelinesNLProvincially required policyNBONBCPEIn transition (from required district policies)
7 Components of Provincial SNP’s Nutrition standards and food facilities/outletsMeal scheduling/eating environmentsFood intake of staffNutrition education/informationNutrition training of staff/volunteersFamily/community involvementFood safetyFood rewards/punishmentSpecial events/celebrationsFundraisingMonitoringNutrition committee
8 Access to Food Manitoba Saskatchewan Nova Scotia New Brunswick (Ontario)Prince Edward Island
9 Access to Food: MNSchool policies can address breakfast or snack programs to ensure no child goes hungry (p. 34).Breakfast programs should be open to all students, but should not encourage students to replace breakfasts normally eaten at home (Annapolis Valley Regional School Board).
10 Access to Food: SKSchool meal programs and/or emergency food are available to ensure that all students have access to nutritious food in school.A community of caregivers, school staff, students and/or local business partners advocate and implement strategies for addressing food security. Examples include community kitchens, the “Good Food Box” and community gardens. Local foods are purchased as often as possible.
11 Access to Food: NS Students who may be Vulnerable All students need nourishment during the school day. Some students may be challenged in meeting this need for a variety of reasons including poverty, life-threatening food allergies, and other medical conditions requiring special dietary considerations (DIR, p. 3).Schools will ensure that students and parents are aware of breakfast, lunch, and snack programs that are offered in or through the school at minimal or no cost and are accessible to all studentsSchools must ensure that any food programs are made available to students in a non-stigmatizing manner (p. 6)
12 Access to Food: NB Food Services Guidelines/Recommendations Breakfast and hot lunch programs will be consistent with the <Healthier Foods and Nutrition in Public Schools> policy (p. 3).Guidelines/RecommendationsSchools and school community partners should encourage parent/s guardians to provide a healthy breakfast and healthy foods at home (p. 4).
13 Access to Food: ONNOTE: The standards do NOT apply to food and beverages that are offered in schools to students at no costRequirement: school boards must ensure that students have access to drinking water during the school day (p. 4)
14 Access to Food: PEThe Board and administrators will improve student access to food by:Improving access by all students to healthy, safe, reasonably priced, attractively presented food choices: andReducing hunger among children living with food insecurity, through enhanced access to healthy foods within the school setting, provided in a non-stigmatizing manner.Western School District School Nutrition Policy
15 Access to Food: PEAll schools will continue to participate in and promote the PEI School Milk ProgramAll schools are encouraged to stock an emergency food cupboard with healthy choices for students in needSchools are encouraged to provide breakfast or snack programs when a need is identified, which will: be open to all students but will not be promoted as a replacement for breakfast eaten at home; and will follow Best Practice Standards from Breakfast for Learning.Eastern and Western School District School Nutrition Policies
16 PricingAL: healthier food choices are competitively priced relative to less nutritious foodsAffordable healthy meal choices should be a priority over affordable healthy snacksSK: Healthy foods are reasonable priced and readily available in the school (e.g., cafeteria, canteen)MN: School policies can influence the appropriate pricing, promotion and advertising of nutritious food (p. 33)(e.g., Support healthy food choices by providing affordable, nutritious food (Annapolis Valley Regional School Board).
17 PricingNS: The cost of food and beverages influences whether or not they are chosen. School food and beverages should be served and sold primarily for the purposes of providing nutrition rather than for revenue generation (DIR, p. 2).NB: Foods with maximum and moderate nutritional value sold in school will be priced as close to cost as practicable (p. 2).BC: Price is the most important factor in helping students make healthier choices. A decreased profit margin on healthier products can be compensated by raising the prices of less healthy products during the transition to full implementation of the Guidelines (p. 24)
18 PricingPE: Schools will support healthy food choices by pricing approaches which encourage students to choose healthy foods over less healthy foods when food is sold at school.
19 Local FoodsAL: Identify vendors, farmers and businesses that can provide Alberta-grown produce or other healthful products at affordable prices (P.53)NS: Whenever possible, schools and food service providers should use food and beverages that are grown, produced, or manufactured in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada (GUI, p. 10)NL: many foods such as local vegetables and wholesome homemade meals do not have a Nutrition Facts table. These items can be very healthy choices (p. 28)ON: Offer, when available and where possible, food and beverages that are produced in Ontario (consideration, p. 4)
20 Food MarketingAL: Market healthier food choices with positive sign associations such as a message displayed where milk is sold, ‘milk builds strong bones and teeth!’ (p. 54)AL: Teachers and student councils can work together on marketing campaigns that promote healthy food choices (p. 56)NS: Promotion and Advertising: Partnerships between schools and business work best when designed to meet identified health and educational needs rather than serve commercial motives (DIR p. 2).
21 Food MarketingNB: School administrators, all staff and school community partners should promote the consumption of foods with maximum nutritional value on school premises (p. 4).BC: Implementation: Develop and implement marketing mechanisms to further encourage healthy choices (e.g., making healthier choices more plentiful, more visible and less expensive, compared to their less healthy counterparts). P. 6)
22 Food MarketingPE: Schools will work to develop an environment that promotes healthy eating by:Promoting and/or advertising only healthy food choicesNot accepting advertising of food products for unhealthy food choicesDisplaying attractive current promotional materials related to healthy eating throughout schoolsEastern School District School Nutrition Policy (p. 95)
23 Other Policies . . . NL: Eating Healthier in Newfoundland and Labrador Target: increase the percentage of schools which provide support to disadvantaged children through subsidized feeding programs (p. 50).NB: Throne Speech, 2012:Your government has committed to promoting local community food products to residents, visitors and businesses as part of its strategy to grow the Value-Added Food sector. Your government will build on this effort with initiatives to promote the benefits of healthy food choices.
24 OpportunitiesWork with P/T partners and others to compile and identify better practice comprehensive nutrition policies that address all facets of school nutrition, including access to food, pricing, local foods and food marketing.Ensure that pertinent policy information is consistent and easily accessible to user groups.Provide guidelines and support for implementation and monitoring of each aspect.
25 Organizations that Fund School Nutrition Programs Compilation of national charities; provincial, territorial, and large municipal government and charitable groups that fund school nutrition programsProgram reach and summaryFunding informationMonitoring activitiesContact information(Total budget, opinions of program leaders)
26 Programs National Charities Provincial/territorial government programs Multiple funding agencies (e.g., Education, Children and Youth Services, Health, Agriculture, Wellness)Maybe more than one program per province/territoryMay be nutrition-specific or part of a larger programProvincial/territorial charitiesGovernment and/or privately fundedMunicipal governmentsMunicipal charitiesIndustry-sponsoredSubsidized milk programs
27 BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program Program locationProgram summaryNumber of programsGrant sizeFurther informationBritish ColumbiaProvides fresh fruits and vegetables to K-12 publicschools and First Nationsschools every other weekfor 13 weeks per school year> 1300 schools and> 433,000 studentsProvision of ready-to-eatproduce0 0
28 Kids Eat Smart Newfoundland and Labrador Program locationProgram summaryNumber of programsGrant sizeFurther informationNewfoundland and LabradorProvides breakfast, lunch, or snack programs to K-12 schoolchildren> 200 Kids Eat Smart ClubsApproximately 19,000 childrenparticipate; approximately52,000 have access to programsAssessed on an individual basis0 0
29 Observations Programs are heavily dependent on volunteers Over 9500 volunteers in the BC and NL examplesCharitable model may result in less control over nutritional quality of food donationsTime spent on sustaining programs competes with time spent on program contentPotential competition among programs may detract from primary mandatePrograms may include educational and other componentsConvictions are deeply rootedIt shouldn’t be sustainable but programs continue to operate
30 Challenges to Sustainability Access to adequate resourcesVulnerability to loss of fundingChanges in priorities for funding sourcesIncreasing number of families in needCommunity indifference or unawareness of local needStrong partnerships between the school and the community, including parents, funding agencies, and other stakeholders, are vital to the long-term sustainability of programsSaskatchewan, 2006
31 Potential “Value-Added” of School Nutrition Programs Are such programs desirable independent of their potential role as instruments of social policy?School food as a ‘micro-climate’ for comprehensive school health actionsStudent leadershipEnvironmental sustainabilityConsumption of local foodsCultural diversitySocializationNutrition and health educationPolicy educationAwareness of food marketing
32 QuestionsAre programs adequately addressing the concerns about their value:More evidence is required to adequately assess the contribution these programs can make to (without creating adverse consequences such as dependency or stigmatization)Alleviate hungerEnhance nutritionContribute to healthy child developmentOpportunities for increased monitoring and evaluation and sharing of resultsIndividual programsCross-program processes and outcomes
33 OpportunitiesRecognize the growing number of programs, their variety, and the basis on which they operateAcknowledge the collective experience within these programs, their potential as partners, and their reach within schoolsDialogue and share to better understand current practices, challenges, tensions, and needs within the fieldIdentify strategic opportunities to contribute to healthy eating for all Canadian school children
34 What do we want for our children? Mary McKennaTel: