Updated: Jun 7, 2018
Written by Kenlyn Ramsey, OSNP-SW
The Ontario Student Nutrition Program - Southwest Region (OSNP-SW) administers funding and provides program support to 480+ schools across Southwestern Ontario. OSNP-SW is a program housed within the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), Windsor-Essex site. VON is one of 14 Lead Agencies who, as part of the provincial body Student Nutrition Ontario (SNO), administer provincial grant funds to support the development and implementation of healthy breakfasts, snack and, at times, lunch programs across the province. Student nutrition programs serve thousands of children across the province to ensure that they attend school well-nourished and ready to learn.
In the 8 weeks between March 20th to May 7th of 2018, over 40,000 students from more than 150 schools across Windsor-Essex, Elgin, and Lambton Counties participated in the Ontario Student Nutrition Program’s new Fruit and Vegetable Delivery Program. This amazing program provides weekly deliveries of fresh (and often local!) fruits and vegetables to classrooms, providing healthy snacks for their students to enjoy.
Paired with dozens of community donors through the Adopt a Program initiative, OSNP has served up a delicious menu of both locally-sourced, seasonal produce and non-local produce for schools, resulting in over 1 million servings of produce delivered!
Bringing local Ontario farms into the classroom
To make this program even more amazing - over 20% of the produce delivered is sourced from local Ontario farms! Every school participating in the program is automatically enrolled in the Tasty Ontario Tuesday initiative, which ensures that at least 1 menu item is locally-sourced per week!
Many students were involved in the preparation and serving of the snacks!
“Helping with the program gives us confidence… helps us make new friends, and shows everybody what we can do in the kitchen” –Student Volunteer
“Having food available is such a relief and a time saver (even waiting for parents to come drop something off is a challenge to parents in a rural area). It saves parents, teachers and students the stress and reduces anxiety on so many levels. Another great thing is that we introduce so many healthy foods that students don't ever get to try at home!” –Teacher Volunteer
“I had never tried a red pepper before… and now I have and I really like them!”
Click the links to learn more about OSNP’s Fruit and Vegetable Delivery or Tasty Ontario Tuesday programs. Or, if you’re interested in learning more about supporting a school or schools in your community, visit the Adopt a Program page!