Insights from the Think&EatGreen@School Project: How a community-based action research project contributed to healthy and sustainable school food systems in Vancouver
From 2010 to 2016 the Think&EatGreen@School project worked to create healthy and sustainable school food systems in the Vancouver School Board. Using models of Community-Engaged Scholarship and Community-Based Action Research, we implemented diverse programmatic and monitoring activities to provide students and teachers with hands-on food cycle education, in order to influence policy, and to encourage university students to engage actively with the food system. Our focus was on transformation of local school food systems as a context-specific means to address serious global issues related to food security, health and environmental sustainability. This paper provides a synthesis of the project including the context that led to its inception, its overarching goals, methodological framework and areas of impact. Key learnings from this project highlight the need for continued work to integrate research, teaching and action on global food security, environmental and public health challenges and to build connections to create healthy, sustainable school food systems.