Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Food Provision

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Picture of a lunch bag

What is the nutritional quality of foods and non-alcoholic beverages provided in different settings (e.g. schools, hospitals, workplaces)?

The focus is on foods in schools, but the framework can also be applied to foods provided or sold in other publicly funded institutions.

Data collection and evaluation within this INFORMAS monitoring framework will consist of two components:

  • In component I, information on existing food or nutrition policies and/or programmes within settings would be compiled.
  • In component II, the quality of foods provided or sold in public sector settings is evaluated relative to existing national or sub-national nutrition standards or voluntary guidelines.


Module leader is Professor Mary L'Abbe


Picture of Mary L'Abbe

Earle W. McHenry Professor, and Chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
Email: Professor Mary L'Abbe

Relevant paper

Monitoring foods and beverages provided and sold in public sector settings (pages 96–107) M. L'Abbé, A. Schermel, L. Minaker, B. Kelly, A. Lee, S. Vandevijvere, P. Twohig, S. Barquera, S. Friel, C. Hawkes, S. Kumanyika, T. Lobstein, J. Ma, J. Macmullan, S. Mohan, C. Monteiro, B. Neal, M. Rayner, G. Sacks, D. Sanders, W. Snowdon, B. Swinburn, C. Walker and INFORMAS

Read the INFORMAS paper online here



A new online tool will be launched next month enabling schools to self-review the healthiness of the food and beverages they have available and support them in improving their food environments where needed. The launch of the new School Food Environment Review and Support Tool (School-FERST) will launched next month coincide with International School Meals Day on Thursday 3rd March.

Picture of child eating a sandwich, a fruit and veg shaped heart and the INFORMAS logo


The School-FERST tool is designed to enable schools to assess and continue to contribute positively to their food environments by capturing important indicators and best practice examples.

Indicators include:

  • Foods and beverages provided and sold on the school premises
  • Use of school gardens
  • Nutrition education
  • Participation in food and nutrition programmes
    school’s food and nutrition policy.

School-FESRT will also highlight the efforts of schools who are taking positive steps to improve their food and nutrition environments and promote these schools as Role Model Schools.

School-FERST will provide detailed, individual feedback to schools on various aspects of their school food environments. Schools will also be able to see how they fare in comparison to schools in their decile, region, and across the country.

School-FERST will also provide resources to guide those schools working towards improving the healthiness of their food environments.

Preliminary Results


Participation prizes from our sponsors include:


$1,000 in Educational vouchers


To get involved with the School-FERST project, schools can click here: www.schoolferst.co.nz

For more information please contact Erica D’Souza



We are proud to be supported by: 

NZ Ministry of Health logo
NZ Heart Foundation logo
NZSTA logo
NZ Principles Association logo
NZ partners in education NZPTA logo