More Brain Food For Ontario Kids



    McGuinty Government Helping More Kids Get A Healthy Start

    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That's what we always
hear. So the Ontario government is helping more kids get that all-important
morning meal by doubling its funding of the student nutrition program across
the province.
    The province is working with community partners and businesses to help
more children and youth, especially those in high-needs neighbourhoods, get a
healthy breakfast or snack so they are ready to learn in class. In 2008-09,
communities in central west Ontario, including Kitchener-Waterloo, will
receive over $1.1 million in new funding to expand these programs, bringing
the total funding to nearly $2.3 million.
    This is part of an additional $32 million Ontario is investing in the
student nutrition program over three years. Approximately 700 new breakfast
programs will be created and 300 existing programs will be expanded in
communities with the highest need. This funding includes one-time funds to
help new programs buy items like fridges, stoves and dishwashers.
    Helping to ensure that kids are ready to learn is an important part of
the government's plan to develop a poverty reduction strategy that enables
more Ontarians to work, build and contribute to a stronger economy.

    QUOTES

    "These programs are a great example of how government can work with
community agencies and businesses to make a tangible difference in the lives
of our kids," said Children and Youth Services Minister
(http://www.gov.on.ca/children) Deb Matthews
(http://www.gov.on.ca/children/english/ministry/minister/index.html). "We need
to work together to ensure our kids have the opportunity to reach their
potential."
    "This additional funding will allow more kids in the Kitchener area to
have a healthy start to their day," said Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy.
"This government understands that helping kids be ready to learn will give
them a better chance at success."
    "Breakfast and snack programs are paramount to student performance and
subsequently to student success," said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Leeanna
Pendergast. "This is an opportunity to serve our students more Ontario-grown
foods that are healthy, nutritious and local."
    "When students' basic needs are met through the student nutrition
program, the learning environment becomes more positive, creating increased
student success," said Heather Nagel, Executive Director of Nutrition for
Learning, the agency that delivers the program in Kitchener-Waterloo.

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -  Nearly 400,000 students across the province are benefiting from more
       than 3,000 existing breakfast, lunch and snack programs supported by
       the Ontario government.

    -  Research (http://www.osnp.ca/statistics.html) shows hungry kids have
       trouble focusing and learning in the classroom. This can affect their
       growth, development and success in school.

    LEARN MORE

    Learn more about Ontario's Student Nutrition Program
    (www.gov.on.ca/children/english/programs/beststart/nutrition/index.html).
    Find out more about the program's nutrition guidelines
(www.gov.on.ca/children/english/programs/beststart/nutrition/index.html) which
ensure children are served more Ontario-grown foods that are healthy,
nutritious and trans-fat free.
    Learn more about eating healthier, more nutritious food at Eat Right
Ontario (http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/aboutERO.aspx).
    Find out more about what's happening in the fight against poverty in
Ontario at www.ontario.ca/growingstronger.

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                                                    ontario.ca/children-news
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For further information:

For further information: Laura Dougan, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3394; Anne Machowski-Smith, Media Office, (416) 325-5156

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES

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