School food programs

This page supports schools and educators with tips and resources to plan and deliver school food programs that meet the unique needs of their local communities.

School food programs can improve access to nutritious foods at school, build food skills, and connect students to their local food systems. Research shows that providing positive exposures to growing, preparing, and eating food improves food literacy and has a lasting impact on physical and mental health.

A food-based program can start small, with simple activities that allow students to explore and experience food inside or outside the classroom. If possible, consider how your program can be integrated through cross-curricular connections and a school-wide approach.

Have questions? Contact a Population Health dietitian at

Questions to consider

Interested in starting a food-based program at your school? Here are a food questions to consider when building your school food program:

  • Why is this program a good fit for our school?
  • How can we provide students with engaging food experiences (rather than a focus on nutrition information)?
  • What links can we make with activities in the classroom, garden, kitchen or community?
  • How can we improve access to healthy foods at school?
  • In what ways can we honour the social, traditional and cultural values of harvesting, preparing, and eating food?
  • What opportunities exist to partner with local farmers, food distributors, or community members to bring local food and knowledge into our school?
  • How can we ensure proper food safety and hand washing protocols are routine part of any food program or food-based activity?
  • How can we ensure this program continues in the future or evolves to meet changing needs?
BC programs

The following programs are examples of provincial or regional food-based programs and resources available to schools in BC and/or the Northern Health region.

Get inspired

School food programs: Ideas and tools

Read about Northern BC programs


Additional resources

Food safety

See the teaching about food and nutrition page for more lesson plans and activity ideas to promote food literacy in schools.

More information