Solutionaries: Children solving real-world problems

Red poster with hand drawn pictures of non perishable food items.

Confronted with a National problem for Canada’s food banks, students at Fielding Drive Public School implemented a solution: enlisting the support of multiple community partners, students led an awareness campaign to promote “Ottawa’s Most Wanted”, and needed, food donations. 

The student led campaign began with Parkdale Food Centre’s “Solutionaries” workshops; three one-hour hands-on workshops on Food Justice that inspire, engage, and equip students to address “interconnected problems of poverty, health and food insecurity in their neighbourhood” as solvable. 

Students envisioned a powerful response that combined contemporary technology, media savvy communication, and strategic stakeholder partnering to support the Ottawa Food Bank increase healthy donations for its more than 37, 000 citizens who access food support monthly.  With meaning and purpose in place, students were able to pivot with a vision in mind. For example, when the initial idea of an App to serve the purpose met with challenges, the QR Code became a quick fix 

Students developed posters to be placed in partnering local grocery stores that included a QR Code with a direct, real time link to the Ottawa Food Bank’s most needed items

Harnessing smartphones and the power of awareness, Fielding Drive students addressed a systemic food security issue with the ingenuity of a powerful learner asking a powerful question: How can we put need front and centre for shoppers and increase food security for those in need? 

By utilizing timely, strategic, accessible tools for getting the message to potential Food Bank donors with some humour and appeal, Fielding Drive students became persuasive solutionaries while addressing a critical community need. 

What problems will OCDSB students solve this year? Just ask them. 

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