School nutrition pilot program to bring healthy breakfasts to NAN children

    THUNDER BAY, ON, April 23 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief
Stan Beardy together with ONEXONE Foundation, a charitable organization
committed to fighting poverty and preserving the lives of children in Canada
and around the world, is celebrating First Nations school nutrition programs
recently launched in four NAN communities.
    "I am delighted that this program has been made available to NAN First
Nations and I hope it can be expanded to more of our communities because every
child deserves a proper, nutritious breakfast before heading off to school,"
said Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "NAN First Nations
understand the importance of proper nutrition, but quality food is very
expensive in many of our communities. By providing healthy breakfasts we hope
this program will lead to better health and a better quality of life for our
young people."
    School nutrition programs have been established in Poplar Hill First
Nation, Deer Lake First Nation and Fort Albany First Nation as well as Mine
Centre Ontario, which is attended by children from Chapleau Ojibway First
    "ONEXONE is honoured to dedicate funds we raise to supporting and working
in partnership with First Nations communities to deliver school-based
breakfast programs," said ONEXONE founder Joelle Adler. "A nutritious and
healthy school breakfast helps students succeed academically each day."
    ONEXONE Foundation and the Assembly of First Nations launched the
National First Nations School Nutrition Program in 2007 in 10 First Nation
schools and communities across Canada as a national outreach initiative
designed to provide First Nations children who live in poverty with a school
nutrition program. Quaker and Dole brand name food supplies for the program
are donated by Pepsi Beverages Canada.
    "As a breakfast leader with trusted brands like Quaker and Dole, we are
proud to partner with ONEXONE to support the National First Nations School
Breakfast Program," said Pepsi Beverages Canada President Stacy Reichert.
"This partnership underlines our fundamental belief that everyone, especially
children, should start the day with a nutritious breakfast."
    The program is designed to teach students the importance of healthy
lifestyles and the value of nutritious food, and to promote education in
nutrition and healthy living.
    "Many of our students would come to school without having a healthy
breakfast and as a result their energy level is often low, which leads to poor
performance in the classroom. We all know that we cannot perform to our
fullest potential when we are hungry; therefore, a program like this allows
our students to aim higher and achieve more in the classroom environment,"
said Poplar Hill School Vice-Principal Kirsten Ryan.
    "Our program at Peetabeck Academy provides students with nutritional,
appealing food each day. Students who previously participated in our snack
program regularly exhibited higher levels of concentration, motivation and
energy as well as decreased levels of disruptive behaviour," said Joan
Metatawabin, Food Coordinator in Fort Albany. "This breakfast program was
needed due to the change in eating habits away from traditional foods and the
isolated location of Fort Albany, as community members have a difficult time
accessing affordable, healthy food for their children."

    ONEXONE is a non-profit foundation founded by Joelle Berdugo Adler in
2005. ONEXONE is committed to preserving and improving the lives of children
in Canada and around the world and is dedicated to helping create a world
where children can live safely and with dignity.

    Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization
representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario
portions of Treaty 5 - an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Heintzman, Media Relations Officer -
Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4906 or (807) 621-2790 mobile; Elisa Levi,
Director, First Nations School Nutrition Programs - ONEXONE, (416) 462-2797 or
(416) 527-0345 mobile

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