Helping more students stay focused at school
Alberta’s school nutrition program is expanding to feed more than 30,000 students a daily nutritious meal so they can focus on their studies – not their stomachs.
The program was first rolled out in the 2016-17 school year with $3.5 million in funding to 14 pilot school authorities. Due to the overwhelming success of the project, it was expanded in 2017-18 to 62 publicly funded school authorities in the province, resulting in more than 21,500 students receiving a daily nutritious meal.
Premier Notley has announced the program is further expanding to serve more than 30,000 students across the province.
“When it comes to helping students succeed, a healthy meal not only gives students the energy they need to focus in the classroom, it empowers them to make healthy food choices outside of school. After successfully expanding the school nutrition program across the province this year, we are proud to continue to help more kids get a healthy start to their day and make life better for Alberta families.”
Funding for the expansion of the program comes from Budget 2018 which allocated $15.5 million to support the program and give kids a healthy start. The money is distributed directly to school authorities to establish or enhance existing nutrition programs in identified schools.
“The program has been incredibly successful so far and will provide lasting benefits for students. By investing in student nutrition, we are meeting students’ basic needs while helping them reach their full potential. I’m proud of the growth of this program since it was first launched and the creative approaches school authorities have taken to make the most of it in their schools and the support from school communities.”
School authorities must demonstrate how their program adheres to the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth and are required to include a nutrition education component as part of the program.
“The Calgary Board of Education has 13 schools participating in the province’s nutrition program. These programs help not only provide access to healthy food choices for our students but also help to strengthen the sense of community in the schools. Students are excited to come to school and ready to learn after a nourishing breakfast each morning.”
For the 2018-19 school year, most of the additional funding will be allocated based on a differentiated funding formula that takes into account a variety of socio-economic factors in order to support more students with the greatest need.