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Help needed to nourish students

The province has been in the business of funding various student nutrition programs for more than a decade.

In 2005, however, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services instituted a new regional model to support the Ontario Student Nutrition Program (OSNP). This model provides an annual amount of $8.5 million regional agencies across the province.

Last year, the Northwestern Health Unit assisted several district committees in accessing these funds in order to implement nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack programs in their schools.

The staff and parents of Donald Young School in Emo once again are interested in providing their students with nutritious food programs.

The vision of the Ontario Student Nutrition Program is “that every student in Ontario has equal access to nutritious food as a means to support their physical, social, and academic development.”

School administrators have reported that students participating in child nutrition programs are able to concentrate better, retain and apply information more effectively, are less likely to be truant or late for school, and are more likely to demonstrate positive behaviours in the classroom.

They also are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables, and develop good nutrition habits that will last a lifetime.

As well, the same students are more likely to understand the importance of volunteering (because they have observed volunteers preparing them food throughout their school years).

DYS is extremely grateful for the number of volunteers who have done so much for the students over the last few years. This year’s student nourishment program, however, will not become a reality unless a new group of volunteers can be found to apply for the necessary funds, organize the program, and administer it.

Membership on the local program committee can include anyone from the community who is interested in providing the students with the opportunity to participate in a nutrition program regardless of their socio-economic background or ability to pay.

Committee members will be responsible for organizing fundraising, applying for funding, approving the menus and budget, communicating with parents, and co-ordinating volunteers.

If you are interested in helping with the Ontario Student Nourishment Program at DYS, call the school at 482- 2271 as soon as possible.

The time and effort that you donate will be deeply appreciated by the DYS staff, students, and parents.

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