Why Offer Student Nutrition Programs?
Over 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 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. 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 and social development. The Food for Learning Committee works directly with the school community to determine the needs of the children in each participating school.
Types of Student Nutrition Programs
Each school determines which type of program they would like to offer: a breakfast program, healthy snack program or lunch program.
The breakfast programs involve volunteers who go to the school each morning to prepare and serve breakfast to the children who attend. There are no requirements for attending a breakfast club, no questions asked. Any child who wishes to drop in for breakfast is welcome.
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.
Lunch programs are provided in schools where there is a need to feed children midday. Everyday there are children who are attending school without a lunch or sometimes, they forget their lunch. These schools ensure
that these children are provided with a healthy lunch to ensure that their energy level and ability to focus is maintained throughout the school day.