The Good Food Machine gets growing in Canadian classrooms

LoyaltyOne Air Miles is partnering with FoodShare Toronto and Global Teacher finalist Stephen Ritz of the educationally acclaimed Green Bronx Machine to launch the Good Food Machine, a new healthy food education program for children in Canadian communities.

The first of its kind in Canada, the program launches in Toronto this September and aims to transform the health and eating habits of students in primary and secondary schools through an ongoing curriculum of how to physically grow, cook and eat healthy food –all while in the classroom. The Good Food Machine builds on years of work FoodShare has established in Toronto schools and now expands the number of schools benefitting and grants greater access to resources and food literacy curriculum.

The Good Food Machine is based on the Green Bronx Machine, the first indoor edible classroom in NYC which grows enough food to feed 450 students. The greatest success of this US program is the measured impact it has on the children, with 40% daily attendance increased to 93%, 50% reduction in behavioural incidence and bullying and 100% of post-secondary graduates training or working wage jobs.

“For more than 20 years LoyaltyOne has been a strong supporter of community charities and we are now expanding our commitment by launching a program that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadian kids,” says Angela Simo Brown, Head of Social Impact Strategy & Innovation at LoyaltyOne. “Working with the invaluable expertise of FoodShare Toronto, who are already so involved in delivering healthy food and education, ensures the program will have the support it needs for success.”

Program Launch

The goal is to introduce this program in phases with phase one launching in schools across Canada in September 2016. LoyaltyOne will provide 10 Good Food Machine kits to selected priority schools within the Toronto area. Each kit will contain:

Selected schools were shortlisted by FoodShare and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), and were invited to apply for a spot in the program. Schools were chosen based on a positive school community, a teacher who would champion the program as well as considering a variety of grades and specialized student programming. Priority was given to schools that rank high on the TDSB Learning Opportunities Index (LOI). The LOI ranks each school based on measures of external challenges affecting student success. It measures relative need and compares all schools on the same set of data.

Nadje with seedlings

Get your own Good Food Machine

When the Good Food Machine launches in September, LoyaltyOne Air Miles will actively support the program in other schools in several ways:

For more information about the Good Food Machine program, please contact Brooke Ziebell, Field to Table Schools Senior Coordinator, at brooke@foodshare.net

Stephen Ritz Nadje GFM May 16 2016