“No child should be hungry at school.” Learn more about the Ontario Student Nutrition Program Grey Bruce here.

“No child should be hungry at school.” That is the motto of the Ontario Student Nutrition Program – Grey-Bruce (OSNP) who believe in a universal nutrition program that is available to all students who are hungry.

There are many reasons why children and youth arrive at school without eating breakfast other than household food insecurity. It may mean that they have a lack of time in the morning or a lack of appetite upon rising, or maybe they have long commutes to school. Whatever the reason, the Student Nutrition Program serves thousands of children across Grey and Bruce Counties to ensure that they attend school well nourished and ready to learn.

OSNP Grey Bruce manages and supports Student Nutrition Program sites. All Bluewater and Bruce Grey Catholic District School board schools are part of this network. Other schools are also included which fall within the Ministry of Education coverage for a total of 64 sites and approximately 22,000 students per day based on program grant numbers for 2020.

All programs are required as a condition of funding to upload monthly program reports. They track participation, food and equipment costs and donations to the program. Schools actively hold school fundraisers, seek donations and other program grants to cover the shortfalls in the “seed” funding.

Attending a Grey and Bruce school can often involve some long bus rides so most of the OSNP programs are breakfast programs. In most schools, they also offer supplemental meal programs for those children who don’t bring a lunch or just need extra food throughout the school day.

Normally approximately 1500 volunteers a year help to run the student nutrition programs. Due to the pandemic, more and more school staff have been taking on this task and this year in particular as some schools have not allowed volunteers to access the schools.

This year, because of the pandemic, they have ramped up their school food delivery model and 29 schools are participating. In some cases, the students are receiving pre-washed and packaged produce. They also have the option of ordering other pre-packaged food items that meet OSNP nutritional guidelines and follow COVID protocols for food delivery in schools.

We at the United Way of Bruce Grey applaud the wonderful work of the OSNP Grey Bruce. Addressing hunger in our schools goes a long way to making a difference to a child who food insecure. We are proud to financially support this program through our Community Impact Grants.

To find out more about the Ontario Student Nutrition Program, visit www.OSNP.ca.

To donate to the program and brighten a child’s day, you may donate to the program through the United Way of Bruce Grey (be sure to specify the OSNP) or you can donate directly to the school board and specify the Ontario Student Nutrition Program.

For the Bluewater District School Board, visit:

For the Bruce Grey Catholic School Board, visit:

**Note: When donating through Canada Helps, be sure to include a comment advising them that you want the donation to go to the Ontario Student Nutrition Program.