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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Government announces 79 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 2 in Red Deer

There are 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alberta, bringing the provincial… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Red Deer hospital bracing for COVID-19 impact

“We’re all worried about what’s coming, but I think we feel confident”

WATCH: COVID-19 doesn’t stop Red Deer Public Library from telling stories

Deb Isbister has been reading stories to children for more than 20… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

I am still facing that existential angst

Stir crazy. I looked the phrase up, just for fun. “Restless or… Continue reading

Red Deer College adapting and adjusting to COVID-19

I have worked in post-secondary education for more than 30 years, and… Continue reading

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Saskatchewan cabinet Minister deletes ‘pray and repent’ tweet over COVID-19

REGINA — A Saskatchewan cabinet minister who tweeted an Old Testament passage… Continue reading

Ontario allows youth to remain in care after passing cut-off age during pandemic

TORONTO — Youth in Ontario’s child welfare system who pass the cut-off… Continue reading

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations: advocates

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland holding ‘urgent’ discussions with U.S. officials

Most Read