What’s Good for the Student is Good for the Farmer  

Written by admin, September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016 – School Food Boxes Support Farmers While Helping Students Start the Day Ready to Learn

Screen Shot 09-22-16 at 10.53 AMThis week as part of Local Food Month this September, the first of more than 500 food boxes featuring local foods made their way to area schools to support student nutrition programs run by Food For Kids.

“Connecting schools with our local food producers not only nourishes students so they learn better, but it teaches them where our food comes from and how important farming is to our community,” said Lauren Kennedy RD, Public Health Nutritionist with Peterborough Public Health.  “It feels great knowing this important program is also benefiting local farms that produce some of the healthiest foods out there.”

Now in its third year, 48 schools in Peterborough City and County received a school food box this week which happens to coincide with Local Food Month, a celebration of local food and our farm community.  Each food box supports school breakfast programs and this week included 20 lbs of apples, 5 lbs of carrots, 2 heads of celery, and a 2.5 lb brick of cheese.  Food is sourced from local growers and producers such as Martin’s Fruit & Vegetable Farm, Allin’s Orchards, and Empire Cheese. RJ’s Fresh Produce packs the boxes and delivers them to schools in the city and county.

Food for Kids aims to include more local food in programming.  Since starting the initiative in 2013, breakfast programs have noted a significant impact.  “The school food box helps stretch our food budget so that we can serve a greater variety of healthy food,” said Deb Strain, coordinator and principal from Kawartha Heights Public School.  “It saves precious volunteer time, otherwise spent purchasing and driving food to the school.  Plus, it allows our program to serve more fruits, vegetables and cheese to students.”

Student nutrition programs are a positive way for all students to start their day with the good nutrition they need.  In 2015-2016, 588 school food boxes helped to feed breakfasts and snacks to 17,364 students who ate over 2.5 million healthy breakfasts and snacks.  School Food Boxes delivered 20,470 lbs of Ontario grown and produced food to student nutrition programs.  These programs were supported by more than 1,000 volunteers who gave an average of 1,100 hours each week to local programs.

This school food box initiative is made possible by generous community donations to Food for Kids, including contributions from the United Way, Kawartha Credit Union, the Ministry of Child and Youth Services, and the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Community Foundations of Canada, the government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast.

If you are interested in volunteering at a breakfast program near you, or making a donation, visit www.FoodforKidsPtbo.ca or call 705-743-1000, ext. 233.


For further information, please contact:

Lauren Kennedy, MScFN, RD
Public Health Nutritionist
705-743-1000, ext. 233