London, ON – In resounding support of enhancing food literacy amongst Canadian students, Brescia University College has joined professionals, educators and individuals across the province to endorse and sign Bill 216: Food Literacy for Students Act, 2020. This new and comprehensive Bill will ensure that food literacy and skills education are embedded in the provincial school curriculum throughout Grades 1 to 12.
“Since the establishment of our School of Food and Nutritional Sciences (former Home Economics Department) in 1936, Brescia has always found the study of foods and nutrition to be paramount in the development of a healthy person,” says Dr. Colleen O’Connor, Acting Chair of Brescia’s School of Food and Nutritional Sciences. She elaborates, “Today, in our uncertain and ever-changing world, foods and nutrition education is more important than ever to ensure that young people are equipped with the knowledge and competencies to care for themselves, while also considering food security and the health of others worldwide. This is why Bill 216 is so vital, and why Brescia is lending its full support.”
Initiated by the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington (KFLA) Food Policy Council, Bill 216 is designed to amend curriculum guidelines to ensure that courses of study be developed in experiential food literacy education and healthy eating – for every grade from Grade 1 through Grade 12. The Bill specifies that courses must ensure that students are given opportunities to grow food, prepare food and learn about local foods. It also stipulates that students must complete the courses of study to obtain an Ontario secondary school diploma, the secondary school graduation diploma and the secondary school honour graduation diploma.
Currently, Bill 216 has been submitted by Member of Provincial Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, Daryl Kramp. The first reading of the Bill was on October 19, 2020 and the second reading was on October 20, 2020. The private member's bill was carried and now will go to a Standing Committee for review prior to the 3rd reading.
Brescia Food and Nutritional Sciences and Leadership Studies professor Dr. Peggy O’Neil was instrumental in bringing this Bill to Brescia and advocates that more educators and post-secondary institutions should be active in their support. She explains, "It is very important for institutions, particularly universities, to declare their commitment to the Food Literacy for Students Act. Universities have a unique role in this significant contribution to society and we need to join forces to see it through to full implementation. I call out to my colleagues to coordinate organization-wide endorsement for this historical act of citizenship and social change"
To learn more about Bill 216, Food Literacy for Students Act, please visit: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-216. To sign the Bill, please visit: https://www.change.org/p/mpp-darryl-kramp-bill-216-food-literacy-for-students-act-2020?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=021e98b0-ebe3-11e3-91ea-dfc2d3884a00. Additionally, post-secondary institutions can become organizational endorsers, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Brescia University College
Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,600 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities, and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. As a Catholic University College, Brescia welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room, at brescia.uwo.ca/communications/media_relations.