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Funding boost fuels school nutrition programs

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A one-time $5-million grant will expand the province’s school nutrition program to provide more students with well-rounded meals and snacks this school year.

Ensuring that students have access to proper nutrition is important for growing minds and learning. It is estimated that more than 58,000 students across the province currently receive a daily nutritious meal through Alberta’s school nutrition program. Through this funding, school jurisdictions will be able to create, continue or enhance nutrition programs in identified schools.

“Proper nutrition is essential for student success. No one is operating at their best on an empty stomach. To acknowledge the rising costs of food and services, we’re thrilled to be able to provide additional funding to support student nutrition through the end of this school year.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education

Alberta’s government has already provided $20 million to school authorities for the school nutrition program. This one-time grant increases the pre-existing funding by 25 per cent, bringing the total funding to $25 million to run nutrition programs for the 2023-24 school year. The grant will automatically flow to public, separate, francophone and applicable public charter schools through regular funding channels.

Alberta’s government encourages school jurisdictions to partner with community organizations to best meet the food needs of their students. Through the flexibility of this program, local school boards can make decisions that best support their students and families while building strong connections within the community and with local organizations.

“Full stomachs fuel learning and ensure students have the energy and focus to thrive at school. We are grateful for this additional funding so more students have access to healthy meals during the school day.”

Laura Hack, chair, Calgary Board of Education

“Our schools and families are so appreciative of this important funding that supports students in their readiness to learn. These dollars, in conjunction with our partnerships with community organizations, will help provide universal access to breakfast, snack and lunch programs, which are essential to student success.”

Sandra Palazzo, chair, Edmonton Catholic School Division

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