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Farm to school in British Columbia: mobilizing food literacy for food sovereignty

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  • Lisa Jordan Powell

    () (University of British Columbia
    University of the Fraser Valley)

  • Hannah Wittman

    () (University of British Columbia
    University of British Columbia)

Abstract

Abstract Farm to school programs have been positioned as interventions that can support goals of the global food sovereignty movement, including strengthening local food production systems, improving food access and food justice for urban populations, and reducing distancing between producers and consumers. However, there has been little assessment of how and to what extent farm to school programs can actually function as a mechanism leading to the achievement of food sovereignty. As implemented in North America, farm to school programs encompass activities not only related to school food procurement, but also to the development of student knowledge and skills under the framework of food literacy. Research on farm to school initiatives has largely been conducted in countries with government-supported national school feeding programs; this study examines farm to school organizing in Canada, where there is no national student nutrition program. Using qualitative fieldwork and document analysis, we investigate the farm to school movement in British Columbia, in a context where civil society concerns related to education and health have been the main vectors of farm to school mobilization. Our analysis suggests that, despite limited institutional infrastructure for school meals, the British Columbia farm to school movement has contributed toward realizing goals of food sovereignty through two main mechanisms: advocacy for institutional procurement of local and sustainable foods and mobilizing food literacy for increased public engagement with issues of social justice and equity in food systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Jordan Powell & Hannah Wittman, 2018. "Farm to school in British Columbia: mobilizing food literacy for food sovereignty," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 35(1), pages 193-206, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9815-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9815-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alison Alkon & Teresa Mares, 2012. "Food sovereignty in US food movements: radical visions and neoliberal constraints," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 29(3), pages 347-359, September.
    2. Lyson, Helena C., 2016. "National policy and state dynamics: A state-level analysis of the factors influencing the prevalence of farm to school programs in the United States," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 23-35.
    3. Harriet Friedmann, 2007. "Scaling up: Bringing public institutions and food service corporations into the project for a local, sustainable food system in Ontario," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 24(3), pages 389-398, September.
    4. Betty Izumi & D. Wright & Michael Hamm, 2010. "Farm to school programs: exploring the role of regionally-based food distributors in alternative agrifood networks," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 27(3), pages 335-350, September.
    5. Jessica Clendenning & Wolfram H. Dressler & Carol Richards, 2016. "Food justice or food sovereignty? Understanding the rise of urban food movements in the USA," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(1), pages 165-177, March.
    6. Patricia Allen & Julie Guthman, 2006. "From “old school” to “farm-to-school”: Neoliberalization from the ground up," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(4), pages 401-415, December.
    7. Jessica Clendenning & Wolfram Dressler & Carol Richards, 2016. "Food justice or food sovereignty? Understanding the rise of urban food movements in the USA," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(1), pages 165-177, March.
    8. Aya Kimura, 2011. "Food education as food literacy: privatized and gendered food knowledge in contemporary Japan," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(4), pages 465-482, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:36:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10460-019-09955-w is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:83:y:2019:i:c:p:104-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:13:p:3617-:d:244711 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Food sovereignty; Food literacy; Farm to school;

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