SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn is pictured with students and a staff member from CCVS immediately following the announcement. Courtesy Photo

CORNWALL – Despite the weather causing school closure throughout the local area, it was announced that the Student Nutrition Program, and the First Nations Student Nutrition Program will receive an additional $5 million dollars this year by the Ontario Government, during an early morning meeting at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School.

A January 9 press release from Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Nolan Quinn mentioned these two programs provide healthy meals and snacks during the school year to “more than 600,000 school-aged children and youth, ensuring they are ready to learn.   The Student Nutrition Program is the result of a collaboration between school boards, community partner organizations and local agencies, with the First Nations Student Nutrition Program delivered through a First Nations-led process, playing ‘a vital role in supporting students’ nutritional needs and promoting positive academic outcomes.’”

“I am excited to learn about the funding received from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for student nutrition in our local schools,” said Quinn. “Proper nutrition is very important for children as it helps with their physical and mental development. All youth should have access to healthy food.”

It was noted that with this investment, the Ontario Government will be providing $38 million, which will help to ensure the programs will continue to provide “almost 90 million nutritious meals and snacks to students.”

“Proper nutrition is an important foundation for academic success, and students should have access to healthy and nutritious food to support their growing minds and bodies,” commented Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, in the release.

Partnership with the Arrell Family Foundation, the Breakfast Club of Canada, the Schad Foundation, the Grocery Foundation and Student Nutrition Ontario with the provincial government has led to the launch of the Healthy Students, Brighter Ontario campaign across the province.

In Eastern Ontario, which includes the counties of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell and Renfrew, the Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education and Training which supports the program in this area will receive $212,500 to continue delivery of nutritious snacks and meals to students throughout the school year.

“We are sincerely thankful for the support from MCCSS for our student nutrition programs, as it symbolizes a commitment to the well-being and academic success of our young learners,” said Matthew Raby, Executive Director of the Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education and Training. It was noted how donations from municipalities, charities, corporations, and industry organizations as well as other local fundraising activities provide additional funding to the two programs.  Those wishing to get involved in this undertaking are asked to contact the Breakfast Club of Canada, the Grocery Foundation as well as Student Nutrition Ontario for more information.