Food procurement in English-language Canadian public schools: Opportunities and challenges

Keywords: procurement, school food environments, nutrition regulation, Canada


This paper examines the changes to procurement for school food environments in Canada as a response to changes to nutrition regulations at the provincial level. Interviews with those working in school food environments across Canada revealed how changes to the nutrition requirements of foods and beverages sold in schools presented opportunities to not only improve the nutrient content of the items made available in school food environments, but also to include local producers and/or school gardens in procuring for the school food environment. At the same time, some schools struggle to procure nutritionally compliant foods due to increased costs associated with transporting produce to rural, remote, or northern communities as well as logistic difficulties like spoilage. Although the nutrition regulations have facilitated improvements to food environments in some schools, others require more support to improve the overall nutritional quality of the foods and beverages available to students at school.

Original Research Article