Nutrition program starts at Red Deer school

Free breakfast and lunch provided to 225 students

Breakfast and lunch at Fairview Elementary School now resemble really big family meals with all 225 students taking part in the new provincial pilot program to feed hungry students.

The program kicked off on Monday at the pre-kindergarten to Grade 5 school. Breakfast was a half a bagel with cream cheese, fruit slices and milk. Lunch was a chicken, vegetable and cheese wrap, with vegetables on the side.

Nicola Golby, associate superintendent with learning services at Red Deer Public Schools, said she anticipated many families would opt into the free program that provides universal support to students at Fairview.

“We want this to be open to everyone and for everyone to feel welcome to join in,” Golby said on Monday.

On Nov. 15, the province announced the school nutrition pilot program. Red Deer Public and 13 other school jurisdictions received $250,000 for one of its schools to participate in the pilot 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.

Golby said she knew of at least one other jurisdiction that started its pilot last week, but Red Deer Public is likely among the earliest to get its program off the ground.

“We didn’t want kids sitting hungry when we had money sitting in an account.”

The meal program meets cultural and religious diversity, as well as special dietary needs of students. Parents do have the ability to opt out of the program.

Two week menus in English and Arabic have gone out to parents in case students would rather bring a meal from home or add something to their school meal. Other languages are being added to the menu.

“We’re looking forward to gathering feedback from the school community so that we can improve the program and make it better as we go through the year,” Golby said.

Yolanda Infante, who is contracted to run the cafeteria at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, was hired to provide the Fairview meals.

Just Posted

Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia was the first jaguar in the world to receive stem cell treatment

Two men facing kidnapping charges in connection with abduction

48-year-old woman was allegedly abducted in Red Deer on Oct. 17

Prosecutor illness delays dangerous driving trial

Red Deer man facing dangerous driving charges in connection with 2016 d0uble-fatal collision

More say in Catholic education proposed

Voting for both public and Catholic trustees

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read