$550K Investment Provides Healthy Food In Schools

A provincial investment of up to $550,000 announced Thursday by New Brunswick’s department of education and early childhood development will give more students better access to healthy foods.

The department will provide the funds to Food Depot Alimentaire, a Moncton-based organization serving food banks, community kitchens, school programs and other agencies.

“School food programs promote the health, well-being and long-term success of students,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder in a news release.

“That is why partnerships such as this are so important; they help ensure vulnerable students have access to healthy meals.”

The goal is to supply 110 schools in the Anglophone East, Anglophone West, Anglophone South and Francophone Sud school districts with healthy and locally-grown food.

Items include milk and other dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables, cereals and grains, and condiments.

The province says Food Depot Alimentaire currently works with more than 50 provincial schools to support a free breakfast program through its local food buying strategy.

The new partnership allows local farms to play a role in providing nutrition to students in need — on top of teaching children where their food comes from.

“We are very excited to expand our involvement supporting school nutrition programs,” said Stéphane Sirois, executive director at Food Depot Alimentaire.

“Our mission is to service the front line on hunger. The food bank network in New Brunswick is stepping up to support schools, ensuring that students start the day with a healthy breakfast.”

Funding covers the supply of food until December, after which the department will work with Food Depot Alimentaire to fund the program from January to June.