Food First is a registered charity whose mission is to support nutrition education programs in schools with the goal of encouraging a healthy population of children and youth for future generations.
The Tastemakers program, offered by Food First Foundation (FF) was developed in the North by registered dieticians, experienced educators, teachers and designers/illustrators. The program is linked to curriculum objectives in Health, Language Arts and Math, making it a useful addition to existing classroom materials. The lessons are short and engaging which allows the students to be provided with more hands on experience. Food First Foundation provides the educational materials to teachers and students along with funding in order to purchase the supplies/equipment needed to run the program successful.
FF is specifically applying for funding in order to continue to build upon our capacity building activities, as capacity building is a key factor in reducing food insecurity:
1) We will continue to support the Tastemakers program in all the schools across the NWT. This year, we will hopefully be able to reach all the schools to increase our current participation rate of 77%, and we will continue to work with partner organizations to help reduce food insecurity across the North (ex. Glassco Foundation, United Way, NWT, FoodShare ).
2) We will continue to offer teachers and students 10 units to work from in order to provide nutritional education that is geared towards students abilities.
3) We will offer support and other fun programs to instill healthy choices in the children of the NWT. For example, on March 9, 2017 we partnered with FoodShare Canada and doing “the Big Crunch”.
4) We will continue to provide students with healthy breakfast, meals or snacks to help address hunger, but more importantly, the program strives to build capacity of the students, so they can learn valuable skills (food preparation, food safety, nutrition) that are essential for students.
5) NWT schools who use the Taste Makers cooking program are linked to their communities and work for the betterment of their communities now and for the future. Students are taught food budgeting skills, food preparation skills, and the basics of nutrition. This leads to healthier, well-educated community members for families as well. Schools often involve community volunteers, parents and elders in their food programs, creating a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere in the school
Who Will it Benefit?
The children of the NWT will benefit from this program and its ongoing funding. In 2016/2017, 28 schools participated in the program which translated to over 800 children being exposed to Tastemakers and basic nutritional education.