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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 9:45 AM -0400
Subject:Local Student Nutrition Programs Receive Funding for Food Project
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Holland-Chatsworth Central, Beavercrest Community, MacPhail Memorial, Osprey Central, Grey Highlands Secondary, Highpoint Community and Dundalk & Proton Community Schools are among 14 schools in Grey and Perth Counties receiving weekly deliveries of fruit and vegetables for their Student Nutrition Programs funded by Ontario Student Nutrition Programs- Southwest.  This eight-week pilot project, which will feed approximately 3,200 students five days each week, is designed to address possible challenges faced by nutrition programs when trying to feed students healthy food on a daily basis.

The Ontario Student Nutrition Program recognizes the dedication and effort schools put into their programs through time, resources and limited budgets, and hopes to support this pilot project with $40,000 from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.  The goal of this central procurement pilot model, which includes sourcing food and delivering to each school, is to alleviate some of the challenges of sourcing large amounts of healthy foods.

“Purchasing healthy produce in bulk and delivering it direct to schools is a win-win for students, local farmers, and the busy volunteers who currently work in these important breakfast and snack programs.  We are very excited to see this initiative being piloted in so many schools across the region this year,” says Stephanie Segave, Manager of the Ontario Student Nutrition Program.

The pilot project, which began in mid-September and continues until the first part of November, uses local suppliers and distributors to help test, research, and gain insight into the need for future collaboration, partners, and support in the area.  Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), the lead agency for the Southwest Region’s Ontario Student Nutrition Program, has facilitated similar pilot projects in the Chatham-Kent area.  They are now looking to Grey, Bruce, Huron, and Perth to learn about local challenges and opportunities to support programs, engage community, and nourish students.

"It is so exciting to be part of the roll out of a new initiative for student nutrition programs in Grey Bruce. We chose rural Grey County schools, most without grocery stores nearby, who face the challenge of getting healthy food to the school for daily nutrition programs. We are bringing in new community partners and connecting them with volunteers at the schools to support the nourishment of our students. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to a healthy diet," says Ontario Student Nutrition Program Grey Bruce Community Program Manager Bev Gateman.

A media day to promote and celebrate the pilot project will be held at Beavercrest Community School in Markdale on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

Image of two nutrition program helpers showing off their greens at Holland-Chatsworth Central SchoolImage of two nutrition program helpers standing outside Macphail Memorial Elementary School with a shipment of food boxes
Image of 'taste sensations' dried cereal and greens food tray at Beavercrest Community School