A Healthy Start For Healthy Minds
Food for Learning programs are vital as numerous studies have proven that when children and youth are provided with the proper nutrition, there is an impact on their cognition, behavior and academic performance. These studies have produced evidence that poorly nourished children do not make the same intellectual and social gains in a learning environment.
When a student arrives at school hungry and participates in a student nutrition program, they will maximize their learning potential through the school day. We know that students in our area arrive hungry for a variety of reasons – poverty, rushed mornings, long bus rides, etc. Regardless of the reason, we aim to minimize the hunger faced by children and youth in Hastings and Prince Edward counties each day.
Food for Learning programs are offered daily in our schools and alternative learning sites. School staff, parents, community volunteers and students themselves come together to offer these programs.
Food for Learning supports programs so that every child can EAT, LEARN and SUCCEED.
Meals and Snacks Served in 2017-18
Programs in 74 Sites
Why Offer Student Nutrition Programs
Food for Learning believes that as a community, we have a collective responsibility for the health and well-being of EVERY CHILD. Regular access to proper nutrition will support learning and contribute to a child’s healthy development.
It is estimated that 30% of elementary school students and over 60% of secondary school students attend school without eating breakfast. Numerous studies have proven that when children are provided with the proper nutrition, there is positive impact on their cognition, behavior and academic performance. Poorly nourished children do not make the same intellectual and social gains in a learning environment and children with poor eating habits can exhibit low energy, are late or absent more frequently, may be more prone to be apathetic, disinterested, irritable, have poor concentration, low self-esteem and poorer social skills.
It is our desire that each child is attending school with the same opportunities for learning, social development, and achieving overall health.
Types of Student Nutrition Programs
Each school has the ability to design and implement their program according to the specific needs of their school community. Student nutrition programs can be a breakfast, early morning meal, healthy snack or lunch program – or any combination of these. Several schools in our region offer breakfast, snack and lunch programs to ensure that students have continuous access to nutritious food throughout the entire school day.
The breakfast or early morning meal programs can be offered in a variety of ways: a grab and go breakfast is set up buffet style where students can help themselves to the food offered that day; a sit down breakfast is offered in a space where students can sit together to enjoy their meal before school; and a bin program involves food bins that are placed in each classroom for students to access as they arrive at school (breakfast) or during the first nutrition break (early morning meal)
- A breakfast or early morning meal must include food from three of the four food groups outlined in Canada’s Food Guide (one serving of fruit or vegetable must be served; one serving of dairy must be served)
Schools who choose to offer a healthy snack program provide snack options to children who may need a supplement to their meals. In most schools, a bin of healthy snacks is placed in each classroom, which the children can access through the classroom teacher. In some cases, the bin is kept in a central location (the office, resource room, guidance, etc.) where the students can drop by and get a healthy snack when required.
- Each snack must include food from two of the four food groups outlined in Canada’s Food Guide (one serving of fruit or vegetable must be served)
Lunch programs are provided in schools for students to access midday or during the second nutrition break. Every day there are children who are attending school without a lunch or sometimes they forget their lunch. Lunch programs are available so that all children are provided with a healthy lunch to ensure that their energy level and ability to focus is maintained throughout the school day.
- A lunch meal must include food from three of the four food groups outlined in Canada’s Food Guide (one serving of fruit or vegetable must be served; one serving of dairy must be served)
Where Our Funds Come From
- Fundraising 14%
- Community Grants / Individual Donations 17%
- Student Nutrition Program Partners 7%
- Ministry of Children and Youth Services 58%
- Other 4%
How Our Funds Are Spent
- Food, Supplies and Equipment 79%
- Program Support 3%
- Salaries (please note that NO fundraising revenue or donations are used to cover any salary expenses) 17%
- Fundraising Costs 1%
Our Steering Committee Members
HPE Public Health
Julie Puhlman Brogie
Whitley Insurance & Financial
Executive Director, HPELF
Mary Beth Plumpton