The Great Big Crunch NWT
For the past few years, the Food First Foundation has run a Great Big Crunch event in schools across the NWT.
The Great Big Crunch NWT is a special day, class, assembly, lunch hour, or even 5 minutes dedicated to apples and ending in a synchronized “crunch” to celebrate. We invite schools to be creative…apple poetry, apple films, apple cooking…activities do not have to be elaborate – we would like students to enjoy an apple (or another healthy snack of the school’s choice!) and for it to kick-start a conversation about food and healthy eating.
The Great Big Crunch is intended to promote healthy snacking, the importance of enjoying food together, and enhance student understanding of where their food comes from.
While the Great Big Crunch is an initiative of Food Share Canada, we have adapted it to fit a Northern context. It takes place in the fall in the NWT when apples are in season (vs. March elsewhere) and schools are welcome to incorporate country foods into their event in lieu of apples. This allows for a broader discussion about local foods in the NWT, traditional food harvesting etc. Apples, however, are a great choice for NWT communities, as they are usually readily available and inexpensive.
We provide resources in the form of recipes and activities that teachers can use in their classrooms to celebrate apples (or whatever healthy snack is chosen)!
This past school year, students made apple tarts, learned about how apples grow, read books about apples...the list goes on! One school even held their Great Big Crunch event at the community soup kitchen, inviting students and their parents to paint apples, learn about the different parts and varieties of apples, and eat apple pie!
Who Will it Benefit?
Children across the NWT will benefit from this initiative. The Great Big Crunch NWT not only provides a healthy snack for the students, but also encourages food literacy. Students can learn through fun activities, (with apples as the centrepiece), about cooking, nutrition, soil and composting, sustainability, community development, and more!
Teachers benefit by gaining access to a variety of classroom activities and lesson plans for Math, Science, Literacy and more that are engaging for students (especially when the lesson ends with a tasty snack!).