Red Deer Public Schools included in new nutrition program

Pilot program launched at 14 school jurisdictions

Red Deer Public Schools is one of 14 school jurisdictions taking part in a provincial pilot program announced Monday targeting school nutrition.

Only one school from each jurisdiction can participate and Red Deer Public chose Fairview Elementary School.

The school’s 230 pre-kindergarten to Grade 5 students will all have access to free, healthy breakfasts and lunches hopefully by December.

Nicola Golby, associate superintendent with learning services, said the district decided to provide a universal program instead of serving a very small number of students who are the most in need.

“We want all of our students to be happy and successful at school. Part of making that happen is making sure they have nutritious food available,” Golby said on Monday.

It’s a way to provide equity which is one of the districts’s priorities, she added.

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

Each jurisdiction will receive $250,000 for the pilot, funded from Alberta Education’s existing budget. 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.

Red Deer Public already runs breakfast and snack programs at its schools to feed hungry students. Golby said the pilot expands those food programs at Fairview.

“We know it’s difficult for students to concentrate on learning when they’re hungry. It’s heart-breaking for us to know we have students sitting in our classrooms that are arriving at school hungry. This is our opportunity to just take away that barrier.”

She said the district is lining up a caterer to provide the meals and is grateful to be part of pilot that is part of the province’s Future Ready initiative.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake man charged with first-degree murder of his dad

A 28-year-old Sylvan Lake man has been charged with the first-degree murder… Continue reading

Red Deer man going to trial on manslaughter

Gabriel Agotic accused of involvement in May 2017 death of Mathiang Chol

Nominees sought for business awards

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce annual awards program

‘Somewhere to go:’ Sex trafficking victim calls for more safe houses

REGINA — For years, Beatrice Wallace blamed herself. Not only did she… Continue reading

China renews demand on Canada for Huawei executive’s release

BEIJING — China on Wednesday renewed a demand that Canada release a… Continue reading

Maskwacis youth found dead on reserve

The remains of 16 year old Houston Omeasoo found

Duncan announces $30 million to promote safety and inclusiveness in sport

TORONTO — The federal government is investing $30 million over five years… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Mouse that roared: Disney characters win local union shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. — The mouse that roared was heard. Months after workers… Continue reading

Soulpepper’s original musical ‘Rose’ among big winners at Dora theatre awards

TORONTO — Soulpepper’s first original musical “Rose” was among the big winners… Continue reading

‘Must work together:’ Alberta legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat

Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature… Continue reading

‘He’s my son: Accused mother cries at trial over boy who died of meningitis

LETHBRIDGE — The mother of a toddler who died of bacterial meningitis… Continue reading

Licence revoked for doc who used own sperm to artificially inseminate patients

TORONTO — An Ottawa fertility doctor who used his own sperm as… Continue reading

Most Read