Students at Cedar Community Secondary School will learn about hydroponics and have fresh vegetables thanks to money from Island Health’s Community Wellness Grant. News Bulletin file

Wellness grant used for food-growing system at Nanaimo high school

Cedar Secondary will use money from Regional District of Nanaimo for food program

Cedar Community Secondary School students will learn about hydroponics and eat fresh vegetables thanks to money from Island Health’s Community Wellness Grant.

Island Health granted the money for health and wellness programs to the Regional District of Nanaimo, which will provide $7,114 to the high school. The school will use $2,775 for three tower gardens, which use an aeroponics, or mist system, to grow plants.

“I’m trying to create a farm-to-school kind of program, so I’ve been connecting with farmers and we’re going to be growing our own vegetables and I just want to start it off at the high school because of the cafeteria program and connect it with our science, because it’s all hydroponic and it’s all to do with healthy living,” said Karen St. Cyr, Nanaimo school district community school coordinator.

St. Cyr said the towers are portable and can be used at other schools as well.

The remaining money will go toward weight room equipment ($3,839) and a smoking cessation program ($500).