VSB School Food Programs
Food, it’s an essential necessity for growing children. It's not just about satisfying hunger. It’s also about creating a sense of belonging and comfort for students in schools. Having meals with friends during lunch builds strong social connections and fosters a positive and inclusive school environment. A well-balanced diet not only boosts physical health, but it also improves the ability to think, focus and memory.
Food clearly plays a pivotal role for VSB students, this is why in 2022 VSB trustees and an ad hoc food committee made of stakeholders and food, nutrition and poverty food experts from outside of the VSB, worked together to create the first-ever VSB Food Framework. This Food Framework is firmly rooted in:
- the need for a Universal School Food Program,
- the VSB Education Plan
- Auditor’s Report Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in K-12, and
- BC School Food Guidelines.
The Food Framework takes a holistic view of feeding students by incorporating school food growing spaces and food literacy and culinary education as key elements.
For VSB, the vision is to give every student access to nourishing food at school as they develop the skills they need to choose, eat, grow, prepare, and share food through VSB School Food programs.
Eating and learning about food is based on principles of a sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems that also contributes to reconciliation and decolonization.
There are several food services supporting students including:
Hot food program: a subsidized hot lunch program for students. Funding provided by community partners such as Breakfast Club of Canada and Adopt-A-School.
- Lunch: Britannia, Byng, Churchill, David Thompson, Gladstone, Hamber, John Oliver, Killarney, Kitsilano, Magee, Point Grey, Prince of Wales, Templeton, Tupper, University Hill, Vancouver Technical and Windermere secondary schools, as well as Strathcona elementary school.
- Lunch and breakfast: Britannia, Churchill, David Thompson, Gladstone, John Oliver, Point Grey, Tupper and Vancouver Technical secondary schools. Grandview, Hastings, Britannia, Queen Alexandra, Seymour, Thunderbird and Xpey elementary schools.
Food4Schools: Subsidized by VSB and the City of Vancouver, meals are hot food packaged for students and delivered to schools. Families-in-need can register through their child’s school. Any student experiencing food insecurities is eligible for the program. School principals can help provide more information.
- Lunch: King George secondary school. Bruce, Champlain Heights, Champlain Heights Annex, Collingwood, Crosstown, Cunningham, Dickens, Douglas, Franklin, Grenfell, Henderson, Hudson, David Lloyd George, MacCorkindale, Mackenzie, Maquinna, McBride, Mount Pleasant, Nelson, Nightingale, Nootka, Oppenheimer, Queen Victoria Annex, Renfrew, Roberts Annex, Secord, Southlands, Tecumseh, Tillicum Annex, Trudeau, Weir, wək̓ʷan̓əs tə syaqʷəm and University Hill elementary schools.
- Lunch and breakfast: Beaconsfield, Cook, Fleming, Moberly, Norquay, Roberts, Selkirk and Waverly elementary schools.
Cafeterias: located inside the school where students have access to several types of hot and cold foods.
- Locations: all VSB secondary schools
Teaching cafeteria: Students learn about food preparation and cooking as an elective.
- Locations: David Thompson, Gladstone, John Oliver, Tupper, Vancouver Technical and Windemere secondary schools.
Commissary kitchens: a commercial kitchen where staff prepare meals that will then be delivered across all schools participating in the hot lunch programs and Food4Schools program. Currently, more than 2,000 meals are prepared daily and delivered to students.
Locations: Britannia Secondary and Templeton Secondary schools
Additional food supports are also provided by external organizations such as Growing Chefs!, Fresh Roots, Backpack Buddies, KidSafe and Vancouver Firefighters Charity. For more information about each program, visit their webpage.