Nutrition program a hit at Fairview school

Nutrition program a hit at Fairview school

Spaghetti lunch served Friday

Fairview Elementary School parents appreciate the new nutrition program that provides free, healthy meals so no child goes hungry at the school.

“It’s pretty amazing. It blew us away. We heard about it and we were like, ‘Really they’re going to give them food everyday, and pay for it,’” said parent Lisa MacDonald at the official launch of the program on Friday.

MacDonald, who volunteers at the school at lunch, said lots of Fairview parents struggle to feed their kids, and parents at other schools are probably in the same boat.

On Nov. 15, the province announced the $3.5-million school nutrition pilot program. Red Deer Public and 13 other school jurisdictions each received $250,000 for one of its schools to pay for meals for the rest of the 2016-17 school year.

Jurisdictions were chosen based on greatest need determined by socio-economic status data from Statistics Canada. Results from the pilot will help guide nutrition programs for schools across the province in 2017-18.

Fairview had its universal, nutrition program in place by Nov. 21. Students can access free breakfasts, lunches and a take-home snack that meet cultural and religious diversity and special dietary needs.

Fairview has 225 students and 108 are English as a Second Language students.

Acting principal Kim Walker said a few parents have opted out because their children have special medical needs, or food sensitivities or allergies.

She said the program has already had a positive impact on students.

“What we’re finding is it takes a little longer for our Grade 1s to eat together, but they are a little bit better adjusted to make transitions between classes with a full tummy,” Walker said.

MacDonald noticed how students are trying different food through the program, including her daughter who wasn’t looking forward to shepherd’s pie.

“She came home and she’s like, ‘It wasn’t that bad,’” MacDonald said.

When their friends are eating the meals it encourages students to at least try a bite, she said.

Bev Manning, Red Deer Public Schools board chair, said she appreciates that the province kept its promise to make children a priority.

“We recognize that students come to us with very real and diverse and significant needs. It’s up to us as a community to meet those needs. It’s the right thing to do,” Manning said.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Mayor Rick Bonnett. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Ponoka council calls on gov’t to support rural small businesses

Ponoka council is calling on the provincial government to increase funding to… Continue reading

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins 4-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Islanders brought Kyle Palmieri home at… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism’

ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds face growing calls for answers after general overseeing vaccine effort sidelined

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is facing growing calls for answers… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

VICTORIA — Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have… Continue reading

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) comes in to celebrate with right wing Tom Wilson (43), right wing T.J. Oshie (77) and defenseman Justin Schultz (2), after Oshie's overtime goal in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Washington. The Capitals won 3-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Nic Dowd scores in OT, Capitals beat Bruins 3-2 in Game 1

Capitals 3 Bruins 2 (OT) (Washington leads series 1-0) WASHINGTON (AP) —… Continue reading

Most Read