Universal student nutrition programs supported by Brant Food For Thought are back in full swing and ready to nourish young minds for the upcoming school year. With more than 9,500 children and youth participating in 53 school-based and community-based nutrition programs, over 450 teachers, educational assistants, parents and community volunteers are gearing up to serve a projected 1.3 million healthy breakfasts and nutritious snacks for this school year alone.
Brant Food For Thought hosted their annual Kick Start meeting in September at the Best Western Brantford Hotel. Close to 90 guests enjoyed a hot breakfast, listened to guest speakers, and received program updates along with their first installment of food funding. Grants disbursed amounted to over $90,000 for this first of three installments.
Guest speakers, Sean Balog, President of Forte Produce, a local produce supplier, along with Business Development Manager, Andrew Demers, are partnering with Brant Food For Thought to launch the School Fresh Produce Box Program for the second year running. Bushels of fresh Ontario apples and pre-cut Ontario grown carrots and celery sticks are just some of the additional fresh offerings for this school year to benefit student nutrition programs where volunteer shopping and transportation are a challenge. Forte Produce will deliver whole, fresh vegetables and fruit weekly or bi-weekly directly to a participating school. The total cost of the project is close to $54,000 for this school year.
“Scaling up capacity of these nutrition initiatives is a local priority for us at Brant Food For Thought,” says Program Director Gisèle Budgell. “School-based nutrition programs will benefit from the direct delivery service, in additional to helping them move toward compliance with the nutrition guidelines as set out by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Increasing access to whole fruits and vegetables is the optimal choice for our children and youth.”
Here’s to another great school year of supporting the healthy development of our school children and youth and building their capacity to learn to their full potential.