Several Island schools will be offering healthy lunches to students this winter as the new provincial school lunch program begins to roll out.
The lunches will be made from healthy local food whenever possible and offered at an affordable price. Schools will develop a process to provide lunches to students who are unable to afford them.
Two delivery models will be tested in the new year to determine how the provincial program will operate. They will be evaluated over the coming months to determine the best way to expand the program.
One model will be tested at Kinkora High School where staff have been hired to prepare and distribute healthy meals to students at Kinkora High and its feeder schools which are Amherst Cove Consolidated and Somerset Consolidated Schools.
The second model will involve working with existing vendors to prepare and deliver healthy meals to students at Montague Regional High School, West Kent Elementary and École Pierre-Chiasson.
“We are really pleased to see the school lunch program being initiated,” said P.E.I. Home and School Federation president Cory Thomas. “Since 2015, the P.E.I. Home and School Federation’s vision and policy for Prince Edward Island has been the establishment of a provincial school lunch program for Island children.
“A healthy school food program is a foundational step towards better social, educational, and health outcomes for Island children. “
New school food policies have been drafted and public consultations are underway to seek public input on them. A non-profit entity will oversee the program.
Education and Lifelong Learning Minister Brad Trivers says one of the goals is to support student well-being and their success at school by ensuring they have access to healthy food on a regular basis.
“Another important objective is to help students develop food literacy which means understanding the importance of healthy eating and knowing where their food comes from.”