Why should I Take the Pledge?
Taking the Pledge doesn’t cost anything! It is simply a personal declaration of your support for students receiving nutritious snacks and breakfasts in schools. By pledging you are helping build awareness about this important program. Not everyone is aware that over 110,000 students are fed healthy food in student nutrition programs across southwestern Ontario each year. We want to spread the word so that more students can continue to have access to healthy food at school. If you took the pledge, thank you! Now please pass it on & share it with your friends. Remind them that pledging costs nothing! You are simply raising awareness to help us reach our vision of ensuring that students in your community attend school well nourished and ready to learn!
Is there a written pledge or does everyone have to Take the Pledge online?
OSNP is encouraging everyone to Take the Pledge online as it is easier for data collection and record keeping. At this point there is no written pledge.
Who is the Ontario Student Nutrition Program (OSNP) and what do they do?
The Ontario Student Nutrition Program (OSNP) is a provincial initiative to provide nutritious food to children and youth, helping students attend school well nourished and ready to learn.
Student nutrition programs are community-based and rely on volunteers. The individuals who prepare and serve meals to students are usually parents/caregivers, teachers, principals and other school staff who are not paid for this work. Their commitment, dedication and support are essential to the ongoing operation and success of the programs.
In 2014-2015, OSNP provided nutritious breakfast and snacks to over 110,000 students at 480+ schools across southwestern Ontario. In fact, in the last school year alone, 14,464,152 breakfasts or snacks were served!
OSNP is just one of 15 regional lead agencies across Ontario. The Victorian Order of Nurses is the administrative agency that houses the OSNP program in the southwest to:
Provide grant funding for school breakfast, snack or lunch programs;
Provide start up assistance and ongoing support to programs;
Work with school boards, public health units and other community partners to develop a network of support for programs locally;
Advocate the importance of student nutrition programs; and
Invest in evidence based research to better understand the health and academic outcomes associated with program implementation.
To find out more about OSNP, please visit our main website, https://www.osnp.ca
What is the importance of nutritious food for students?
In Canada, 47% of girls and 33% of boys in grade 8 skip breakfast. Students involved in school nutrition programs: are more likely to try new fruits and vegetables; develop good nutrition habits; are less likely to be truant or late for school; are more likely to demonstrate positive behaviours in the classroom; better perceive their own health as excellent or good; are able to concentrate better, and retain and apply information more effectively. School meals can make an almost immediate difference in academic achievement. Students who ate morning meals on most days of the school week achieved better results on their learning skills compared with students who only ate morning meals two or less days a week.
Are there restrictions on who can participate in student nutrition programs?
The Ontario Student Nutrition Program is a universal program open to all students. Children may come to school hungry for a number of reasons including: lengthy bus commutes, early morning sports practices, not being hungry when they wake up, lack of food in the home, and/or busy family routines in the morning. A universal program ensures all children and youth eat at least one healthy meal or snack each day. This helps us achieve our vision that every student attends school well nourished and ready to learn!
I am looking to volunteer. Where can I find more information?
Helping to prepare healthy food at your local school is a great way to give back to your community, while strengthening kids’ bodies and minds.
Volunteering with the Ontario Student Nutrition Program can provide you with opportunities to build meaningful relationships in your community, develop new skills and experience, and be a positive role model for children and youth.
There are a variety of volunteer roles to choose from, from purchasing ingredients to preparing snacks and more. Volunteer time commitments are flexible, it is up to you how much time and when you want to contribute. Please see our main website to contact the Community Development Coordinator in your area for further details: https://www.osnp.ca/how-to-volunteer
I am looking to donate. Where can I find more information?
Who is my local community contact?
Where can I find out more information on student nutrition programming such as program and nutrition guidelines?
I didn’t see my school listed. Where can I get information for my school to start offering a student nutrition program?
Contact your local community coordinator to find out more information about starting a student nutrition program at your school. Please visit our main site to find your local community contact https://www.osnp.ca/contact-coordinator
How is the Ontario Student Nutrition Program funded?
Student Nutrition Programs rely on support from parents and caregivers, municipalities, corporate sponsors, farmers, local charities, community organizations and many others. While the Government of Ontario has made a significant investment in Student Nutrition Programs, their funding generally only covers 15% of the total operational cost. That means schools need to fundraise and use innovative partnerships to cover the balance of the cost of operating their programs.