Celebrating Access to Food at School with a “Great Big Crunch”!

March 9, 2023

St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School Staff and Students Make Noise for Student Nutrition Programs

Today, 250 St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School students and staff crunched down on Ontario apples to celebrate the Great Big Crunch. The event celebrates access to nutritious food at school for every child.

“The Student Nutrition Program (SNP) is an integral part of our school day. Our staff and volunteers are so dedicated. They know first-hand how access to food at school contributes to our students’ well-being and potential,” says Jennifer Fisher, Principal of St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School. “Our bin program offers a variety of nutritious foods, like cheese, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. When our students have the nutrition they need, they are better prepared for a full day of learning.” For 19 years, the school has offered a vibrant nutrition program for all students.

Students are hungry at school for all sorts of reasons: skipped breakfasts, rushed mornings, long bus rides, and sudden growth spurts. Canada is the only G7 country that does not have a national school food program. “Local programs started 30 years ago. Now, 96% of local schools offer student nutrition programs. This reflects unique commitment to student wellness by this community, its’ schools and school boards,” says Luisa Magalhaes, Registered Dietitian with Peterborough Public Health. The Great Big Crunch highlights the need for access to healthy food at school for every child. As the cost of food stretches nutrition program budgets, federal funding could help make local programs even better. 

Angela Fuchs, Community Development Coordinator, is a member of Food for Kids and supports student nutrition programs. “Last year, over 600 volunteers and school staff spent 900 hours a week preparing and serving food to hungry students. What a remarkable investment in student success! 

A special thank-you to our community donors and volunteers. Annual sponsors include the United Way Peterborough & District, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Show Kids you Care, Kawartha Credit Union, Kawartha Food Share, Kiwanis Club of Scott’s Plains and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Your continued support of food at school for all students makes a difference!