Nutrition program for students expanded in Ontario

Hon Teresa Piruzza, MPP (Windsor West)

Hon Teresa Piruzza, MPP (Windsor West)

Ontario is expanding and enhancing its Student Nutrition Program so that 56,000 more children and youth will get the nutritional boost they need to succeed at school.

The Healthy Kids Panel Report “No Time to Wait” highlighted the importance of school nutrition programs. “Nutritious snacks and meals are critical to the success of every child. We want Ontario’s children to reach their full potential, and  this investment is one more way we are helping our children succeed”, said Teresa Piruzza, Minster of Child and Youth Services.

The province is making an initial investment of $32 million over the next three years as part of its five year plan to enhance the Student Nutrition Program. Under the new plan, 340 new breakfast programs will  be established in elementary and secondary schools that need it most  across Ontario. The program will also be expanded to on-reserve First Nations schools, beginning in northern Ontario.

“Expanding the nutrition program is an important Ontario initiative to help our students excel. It is critical that our children benefit from  a healthy lifestyle and are offered every opportunity to be at their  best”, said Charles Sousa, Minster of Finance.

Expanding the Student Nutrition Program is part of Ontario’s plan to  break down barriers for low income Ontarians and address the effects  of poverty .Eligible schools are identified based upon socioeconomic  data and academic performance. By promoting student success, it is  also part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focussing on Ontario’s greatest strength, its  people and strategic partnerships.

The Student Nutrition Program provides nutritious breakfasts, snacks and lunches to support healthy development so school children are better prepared to learn. During the 2012-13 school year, over  695,000 school aged children and youth benefited from more than 4,200  breakfast, lunch and snack programs.