News Releases

Ontario’s Healthy School Fundraiser Launches Province-wide

Jun 06, 2018

Fresh from the Farm raises funds for schools selling Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables

TORONTO/GUELPH, ON – Schools are already enrolling to participate in the fall 2018 Fresh from the Farm fundraiser. The successful school fundraiser has grown province-wide, eligible to over 5000 schools representing over 72 Ontario school boards and First Nation Schools. Since 2013, 1165 schools have collectively distributed over 2.7 million pounds of fresh, Ontario produce, with sales of over $2.9 million. Schools have raised profits of over $1.1 million for various learning initiatives and extra-curricular activities.
Fresh from the Farm provides schools and students with a healthy fundraising opportunity by selling Ontario fruit and vegetables to the community, while supporting local farmers and the economy. The program also supports ongoing efforts to develop healthier learning environments within schools. 

Students raise funds by selling bundles of fresh, Ontario-grown potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and apples.  Fresh from the Farm supports and integrates several Ontario government priorities, including Ontario’s Food and Nutrition Strategy, 2017, The School Food and Beverage Policy and the Local Food Act, 2013.
“Schools return to participate in Fresh from the Farm year-after-year, achieving significant profit for their school while helping to create a more supportive nutrition environment. To date, 250 schools have already enrolled to participate in the 2018 fall fundraiser” reports Lisa Mardlin-Vandewalle, Project Coordinator with Dietitians of Canada, one of the program’s partners. 
“The program has experienced tremendous growth over the past 5 years. This success is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved from the farm to the schools.  As we enter the 6thseason of the Fresh from the Farm program we are looking forward to growing on the successes to date and continuing to increase the access to healthy, local food through schools in Ontario” says Dan Tukendorf, Program Manager with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.
Students fundraise September 4 through to early October with deliveries scheduled throughout November. Parent volunteers bundle produce the same day the Ontario grower delivers the product to the school.  Fresh from theFarm provides an ideal opportunity for schools to introduce the topic of agri-food and healthy eating into the classroom. 

Interested parents, educators and students can contact their school principal to enrol at
About Fresh from the Farm
Fresh from the Farm is a collaborative initiative between Dietitians of Canada, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, the Ontario Ministry of Education, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  To find our more, visit
About Dietitians of Canada
Dietitians of Canada is the professional association for dietitians, representing members at the local, provincial and national levels. We aim to advance health through food and nutrition and to provide leadership in shaping food and nutrition policy. Dietitians are driven by curiosity to understand the science behind food and its connection to health.
About The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association is the voice of Ontario’s 7,500 fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse farmers on issues affecting the edible horticulture sector.  Visit


Additional Information:

For more information or to arrange an interview:
Lisa Mardlin-Vandewalle
Dietitians of Canada

Kate Comeau, MSc, RD
Dietitians of Canada

Dan Tukendorf
Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association