Communities join forces to Nourish the Future of Ontario’s Children

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Healthy Students Brighter Ontario Campaign Raises over $5M for Student Nutrition Programs

Ontario, June 19, 2024 –Breakfast Club of Canada, Student Nutrition Ontario (SNO), The Schad Foundation and The Arrell Family Foundation are pleased to announce $3.6M in donations raised during the 2023-2024 school year for the Healthy Students Brighter Ontario campaign. The fundraising campaign builds on the Government of Ontario’s commitment to provide much-needed additional support for the Ontario Student Nutrition Program and First Nations Student Nutrition Program.

Together with increased contributions from local communities and municipalities, the Student Nutrition Programs have raised more than $5 million over the school year. This meets the goal of community contributions to match the government of Ontario’s additional $5 million funding for the programs.

The Ontario Student Nutrition Program and First Nation Student Nutrition Program provide nutritious food to students in the province. The Student Nutrition Program serves more than 600,000 school-aged children and youth with healthy meals and snacks throughout the school year. The First Nations Student Nutrition Program provides more than 1.4 million nutritious meals and snacks to Indigenous children and youth across the province each year.

The campaign saw contributions from a wide range of supporters, including businesses, charitable foundations and individual donors. Major donors to the campaign included:

  • The Schad Foundation
  • The Arrell Family Foundation
  • General Mills
  • The Sprott Foundation
  • The Honourable Mrs. Margaret McCain
  • The Peter Gilgan Foundation
  • Maple Leaf Foods
  • Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security
  • The Grocery Foundation
  • SNO Lead Agencies with their communities

“SNO believes that every child has the right to start their school day nourished and ready to learn and, with the help of our communities, donors and all levels of government, together we can make it happen,” said Catherine Parsonage, past Chair, Student Nutrition Ontario.

“Having access to healthy food at school is fundamental to students’ health and learning,” said Claire Kealey Schad of The Schad Foundation. “It is our hope that this initiative inspires ongoing collaboration and continued investment in the health and potential of every child in the province.”

“The Club believes in the power of collaboration”, said Judith Barry, Co-founder and Government Relations Director at Breakfast Club of Canada. “By uniting with governments, the private sector and all stakeholders, we can ensure every child has a nutritious meal to support their education and growth.”

Student nutrition programs are crucial to the wellbeing of children and communities in the province, and are committed to continuing to work to ensure they have the funding they need to nourish students at school. The federal government’s recent commitment to school nutrition is a welcome step forward, as Ontario families continue to face economic challenges. The collective efforts of all stakeholders will be crucial to ensure the growth and success of student nutrition programs. All sectors are invited to join in the ongoing work of building a brighter future for Ontario’s children.

For more information about the Ontario Student Nutrition Program and First Nations Student Nutrition Program, please visit


“Nutritious food is important to children’s health and well-being, and helps support their academic performance. I am delighted to see the success of the Healthy Student Brighter Ontario campaign, which builds on the investments our government is making to support students through the Student Nutrition Program and First Nations Student Nutrition Program, ” said Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We are grateful for the generosity of our partners, local community members and volunteers who contributed their time and money to help the next generation succeed.”

“Healthy eating is a key component of positive mental health, which is essential for student achievement and lifelong success,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Education. “Our government is investing over $117 million in student mental health supports for the coming school year – a 577 per cent increase since 2017-18 – and reintroducing modernized home economics education that will teach students critical life skills such as buying and cooking nutritious food.”

“When students have the proper nutrition they need to focus in the classroom, they are able to achieve incredible successes academically and bright futures overall,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs & First Nations Economic Reconciliation. “Thanks to the generosity of community partners, the First Nations Student Nutrition Program will continue to deliver more than 1.4 million nutritious meals and snacks deliver to First Nations children and youth each year, with support from the Government of Ontario.”

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Source: Breakfast Club of Canada
Information: Hermanie Desrosiers-, 514-882-5218