NLSD is one of fourteen school boards across Alberta partaking in a provincial nutrition pilot program.
The program is part of the Government of Alberta’s “Future Ready” initiative that is hoping to educate students for the modern economy. Selected school boards must demonstrate how their program adheres to the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth and are required to include a nutrition education component as part of the pilot.
“We know that good jobs begin with a good education. Access to a daily nutritious meal can really help children’s grades and prepare them for a healthy and successful future. That’s why we are proud to introduce a targeted school nutrition program,” said Premier Rachel Notley while announcing the initiative.
Education Minister David Eggen had some remarks of his own. “It’s hard to learn when you’re hungry. Research clearly shows that students who have a healthy and nutritious diet have more energy and are able to better focus in class. While the immediate effect of the program will be felt in the classroom, we also want to build students’ capacity for lifelong healthy eating and nutrition.”
The cost of the program is being funded from Alberta Education’s existing budget. Each of the 14 publicly funded school boards will receive $250,000 in grant funding to assist with the pilot. Results will help inform decisions regarding nutrition programs for schools across the province in 2017-18.
Each school board must select one school to test the project in. NLSD has selected Vera M. Welsh Elementary School in Lac La Biche, where they have been serving a healthy lunch to each of the 350 students every day since November 1st.