In 2017, Heart & Stroke in PEI formed the PEI Children’s Nutrition Committee with the mandate to plan, coordinate and deliver activities to support opportunities for children and youth to develop healthy eating habits. This includes working toward the increase of healthy food and beverage options in recreation facilities.
Recreation facilities serve as a hub for community-based sport, recreation, and physical activity for many Island children, youth, and families. As places where physical activity is encouraged, recreation facilities are an ideal space to create supportive environments for healthy living and to promote other positive health behaviours such as healthy eating.
In 2018, Heart & Stroke in PEI commissioned a scan of food and beverages offerings and healthy food practices in recreation facilities across PEI to identify opportunities for positive change. Results from this scan revealed that most available options were high in fat, sodium and sugar.
The PEI Children’s Nutrition Committee, led by Heart & Stroke, believes the research gathered in the Healthy Eating in PEI Recreation Settings: A provincial scan of food environments report, demonstrates an urgent need to enact positive change in food environments for children and youth in recreation settings. As a result of these findings, the Committee has created this pilot initiative as an opportunity for recreation facilities to apply for a small grant to support positive change in their own facility’s food environment. This is not about one-off projects and instead want to see this impact carry beyond the fiscal year. This could include the purchase of equipment that would enable canteen/food service operators in these settings to supply healthy foods and beverages, for example.
A total of $20,000 is available for this program. Grants will be awarded depending on the number of requests and amount of funds available for granting.
This pilot initiative will be further supported through the creation of a laminated hard-copy recipe book that will be distributed to all recreation facilities on PEI. This book will provide simple-ingredient recipes, basic nutrition information, and menu planning for large sporting/community events. Awarded recipients will receive a complimentary site visit with a registered dietitian.
Please read through Healthy Canteens Seeding Funding Guidelines & Application before submitting your application. If you have any questions, please contact: Valerie Vuillemot, Executive Director with Recreation PEI via phone 902-368-5964 or email info @ recreationpei.ca.