MEDIA RELEASE: More than a million Crunches for children’s nutrition

March 1st, 2018 (TORONTO) - On March 1st at 2:30pm, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be taking part in the Great Big Crunch to bring attention to the issue of children’s nutrition.

The Great Big Crunch, founded and coordinated by FoodShare Toronto, is a signature event that sends a delicious message for the future of school food, advancing the conversation that all students deserve access to healthy food and food literacy education at school, while making a whole lot of noise!

Since 2008, more than one million crunches have been tallied as part of The Great Big Crunch, with 282,482 students participating in last year’s crunch. Schools from across the country are coming up with exciting plans to make this year the loudest yet.

How does the Great Big Crunch work?

  • Kids and schools from across Canada register before crunch day online at https://foodshare.net/program/crunch/. Participants can sign up individually, by class, by school and/or school board!

  • FoodShare provides fun, curriculum-linked lesson plans and activities to bring the Crunch to life for children of all ages

  • On March 1st, 2018 everyone gets together and takes a synchronized bite at 2:30pm. Participants share their crunch photos/video on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GreatBigCrunch.

  • Participants also get a Great Big Crunch Certificate to proudly display on their wall.

What’s all the noise about?

“Over the past decade, over a million people have taken the Great Big Crunch, demonstrating that students have an appetite for celebrating and sharing good food together,” says Meredith Hayes, founder of the Great Big Crunch, FoodShare Toronto. “As nutritious school food becomes an increasing priority, we take this opportunity to make some noise calling for a national school food program for Canada.”

“We are incredibly excited by the national support and attention the Great Big Crunch has generated for kids’ nutrition,” says Sasha McNicoll, Coordinator of the Coalition for Healthy School Food with Food Secure Canada. “We have a lot of work to do as a country to improve quality of access for kids, and the first step is awareness.”

The Great Big Crunch is supported by the Coalition for Healthy School Food. The coalition is made up of nearly forty organizations across Canada, including FoodShare Toronto, and is focused on making sure all Canadian students have access to healthy food at school every day.

Food Secure Canada, which coordinates the Coalition, is a pan-Canadian alliance of organizations and individuals working together to advance food security and food sovereignty through three inter-locking goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, and sustainable food systems.


For more information about 2018 Great Big Crunch and for national media requests, please contact:

Gabrielle Spenard-Bernier, communications@foodsecurecanada.org, 514-271-7352, cell: 514-591-5891

For Toronto media requests:

Sufian Malik, Communications Senior Coordinator, sufian@foodshare.net, cell: 647-473-9973


Highlights:

  • This year, to promote the Great Big Crunch, politicians of all stripes are gathering on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 1st from 10:00am to 2:00pm to show off their best crunching skills and support for healthy school food programs in Canada. Details to follow.

  • In Toronto, Grade 5 students from the Fuel for Fun program, a partnership between FoodShare and MLSE Launchpad, will participate in a fun afternoon of food and physical literacy activities, leading to a synchronized apple crunch at the MLSE Launchpad with special guest Hon. Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services.

  • Children from Fresh Root’s A Year on the Farm program will crunch with members of the Vancouver School Board to celebrate food literacy at Sir James Douglas School Annex.

  • The Annapolis Valley Regional School Board’s Healthy Communities team in Nova Scotia will be crunching to support for a national school food program and show leadership on behalf of its 41 schools.

  • Coalition Poids is inviting all members of Quebec’s National Assembly to participate virtually to support healthy food initiatives for the province’s schoolchildren.