Toronto Schools look to food literacy to save cafeterias

Program would focus on curriculum-based cafeterias.

June 22—Toronto public schools are looking at a new approach to nutrition that could make menus more student-friendly, teach more about healthy diets and let more students actually help prepare the food by focusing on food literacy.

A panel of students is prepared to give input to a planning group that includes board officials, the city’s public health department and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4400, which represents the board’s school cafeteria workers.

The committee of some 20 people began discussing this new blueprint for “food literacy” several months ago, before Toronto trustees decided June 13 to close some money-losing cafeterias. The problem has grown worse, says the Ontario Public School Boards Association, since Queen’s Park launched new healthy food guidelines last fall. As a result, young fast-food fans are going off-site for their high-calorie favorites.