Students make some noise by biting into local apples in celebration of healthy food in school! | Ecology Action Centre

Students make some noise by biting into local apples in celebration of healthy food in school!


A great big crunch echoed through the halls at Oldfield Consolidated Elementary School this morning as 150 staff and students took a synchronized bite into local apples. They’re among nearly 300,000 kids across Canada who took part in The Great Big Crunch.

This is the fifth year that a Nova Scotia school has officially taken part in the event, which aims to bring focus to healthy food in schools.

The Great Big Crunch was started by FoodShare Toronto in 2006, with over 1 million crunchers since it began. It’s an annual moment of “anti-silence” where everyone gets together and bites into crunchy fresh local produce at the same time. The goal is to engage students, families, educators, and communities in learning more about and celebrating healthy eating and access to healthy food for all.

Kellie West, the Principal at Oldfield Consolidated School, hopes today’s event helps raise awareness of the role of healthy eating in student health and learning.

“The Great Big Crunch is a fantastic opportunity to integrate healthy eating with school learning,” says West, “We are excited about the opportunity to celebrate together as a school community in the spirit of creating and supporting healthy school communities for student learning, health, well-being and overall achievement.”

Only one-third of children between the ages of 4 and 13 are eating at least the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits daily. Margo Riebe-Butt of Nourish Nova Scotia says that impacts the health of our children and youth.

“We’re seeing incidences of nutrition related chronic disease on the rise among children and youth at the same time that our health-care costs continue to rise,” says Riebe-Butt. “It’s not sustainable.”

Riebe-Butt thinks The Great Big Crunch is a fun, interactive way to bring schools and students into the conversation around healthy food in schools. “The event helps bring awareness of the importance of supporting healthy eating programs for children and youth among parents, educators and decision-makers,” she says.

Satya Ramen, Food Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre, shares Riebe-Butt’s enthusiasm for the annual event.

“The Great Big Crunch works on many levels,” says Ramen. “It celebrates healthy food grown here in Nova Scotia that is available year-round. Students can learn about where their food comes from and our food systems.”

The #GreatBigCrunch also coincides with Nutrition Month™, another opportunity to focus on healthy eating for students in schools throughout the month of March. The Great Big Crunch at Oldfield Elementary kicks of a series of “Crunch” events taking place in Nova Scotia schools throughout the month of March.

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Halifax Regional School Board (
The Halifax Regional School Board is the largest school board in Atlantic Canada, serving approximately 48,000 students in 134 schools. HRSB's vision is to provide a high quality education to every student every day.

About Nourish Nova Scotia (
Nourish Nova Scotia is a province-wide registered charitable organization that supports nutrition and food literacy programs in partnership with schools and communities. Our goal is to support access to healthy food at school and nurture food literate citizens who have the knowledge and skills to feed themselves well into a healthier future.

About the Ecology Action Centre (
Ecology Action Centre is a member based environmental charity in Halifax taking leadership on critical issues from biodiversity to climate change to environmental justice. The Food Action team strives to increase access to healthy, sustainable and just food through community food initiatives, cross-sectoral partnerships and action for change.

For more information, please contact:

Kelly Sherwood
RD, Halifax Regional School Board / 902-464-2000 ext 2180

Margo Riebe-Butt
Executive Director, Nourish Nova Scotia / 902-456-1771

Satya Ramen
Senior Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre / 902-446-4405


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