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Nutrition on Weekends (NOW) Program

The NOW program increases food availability and reduces hunger for children and youth on weekends.  It is targeted towards students who rely on breakfast, snack and lunch programs during the school week.  A package o​f healthy food containing 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 snacks is discretely placed in a student’s backpack on Fridays. Program goals include increased food security, improved school attendance and educational outcomes, and support for healthy growth and development.​

NOW is coordinated at a regional level by the NWHU, and operated in local communities in partnership with participating schools and/or community organizations.  The program can operate on a small scale within one school or organization, or community wide with multiple partners.

Role of NWHU:​

  • Funding for program supplies obtained through various grants.
  • Registered Dietitian support for menu planning and food purchasing.
  • Providing program implementation guidance.
  • Providing evaluation methodologies and tools.  
  • Reporting on the effectiveness of the program.
  • Scaling the program to other communities that identify a need.

Role of Schools, and/or partnering community agencies:

  • Identify parents/guardians of priority students who can opt into the program. 
  • Program operation including: 
    • Shopping for grocery items 
    • Packing the grocery items into individual bags.
    • Placing the bags into the backpacks of participating children.
  • Collecting evaluation data for the NWHU.

If you are interested in volunteering for a NOW program, or making a donation, contact the health unit by email at or call your local health unit office.

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