Inspiring food security solutions among Saskatchewan youth

SASKATOON- One interactive session after another, 250 grade seven students from five different school divisions learned about local and global food issues on Thursday.

The event is designed to launch a new resource recommended by the Ministry of Education for social studies on global food security and exploring Saskatchewan’s role in achieving that.

“It’s absolutely important that activities are experiential and inquiry based so students can really explore food security issues and so the resource is built using smart notebook as well as a video that we’ve developed and numerous interactive activities that the teachers lead the students through.” said Sara Shymko, Executive Director of Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan.

In attendance were 20 students from Waldheim, Saskatchewan, an already social conscious class according to their teacher who felt they could benefit from the event.

“I’m just hoping they start to understand some of the issues facing us as a society and really their role in how they can make little differences, it’s not all huge and overwhelming there are little things that we can do every day to kind of make change in our own communities.” explained Jennifer Zimmer, Grade Seven Teacher at Waldheim School.

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Saskatchewan is very much a leader when it comes to food security, producing an estimated 67 per cent of the world’s lentils, 56 per cent of pea exports and 40 per cent of the globe’s flax seed. Experts say they’re hoping that remains the case especially since food security will be one of the biggest challenges this generation of grade sevens’ will face.

“In 2050 the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion people some how we have to feed all those people and the agriculture industry in Saskatchewan is going to play a huge role in doing that and we need people to be engaged, to care, to take action now and into the future.” added Shymko.

Craig Kielburger, the event’s keynote speaker knows a thing or two about inspiring change. He’s received both national and international recognition for his work and has been named on of the youngest recipients of the Order of Canada.

“For 20 years my brother and I, we founded and ran an organization called “Free The Children” and we do development work helping about a million people around the world with 650 schools, clean water, medical and various projects and we increasingly found that children weren’t going to school because they were hungry.” said Kielburger.

Huge hurdles but ones that are being overcome by children locally and around the world as they fundraise for farms and food security projects knowing that they can make a difference to help feed those in need.

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“Saskatchewan feeds the world and these kids have stepped into those great footsteps and they keep those great actions going.”