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Meal and snack programs and the safe return to school

Why Student Nutrition Programs?​
Many schools provide meal and/or snack programs to students. These programs can help to make sure that children and youth get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow.
 
Why offer a school meal and snack program?
Students are coming to school hungry and we know that hungry children are tired, unable to concentrate, restless and irritable. We also know that children are not getting the recommended amounts of vegetables and fruits. Research has shown that school meal and snack programs can increase vegetable and fruit intake as well as improve academic performance, student behaviour and attendance.
 
Why are children hungry?
Children and youth might be hungry at school for many reasons. Sometimes it is because there is no food at home, but there are many other reasons. They may not feel hungry first thing in the morning, have a hectic morning schedule, or have a long bus rides which increases the time between breakfast and lunch. Younger children may need to eat smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day.

Student Nutrition Programs and COVID-19
With the reopening of schools, nutrition programming (such as hot lunches and Student Nutrition Program (SNP)) remains a crucial support to students and families. It is important that school nutrition programs continue to offer healthy food choices, as outlined in the School Food and Beverage Policy and Student Nutrition Program Nutrition Guidelines as appropriate, and made available with additional health and safety, physical distancing, and hygiene measures in place.​

Based on recommendations, school meal and snack programs will be offering food in a “grab and go” format. The types of foods that you can expect to be available will all be pre-packaged.  Foods will not be served loose. Any pre-cut vegetables or fruits must be wrapped or in packaging.

The specifics of each meal and snack program may vary from school to school so the best way to find out more about your school or child’s meal and snack program is to ask. 

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