The Manitoba government today announced it will be investing more than $1.4 million to extend the Home Nutrition and Learning Program until the end of the year in an effort to ensure participating children will have access to a nutritious breakfast.
MTS president James Bedford welcomed this announcement and said food programs like this one are more important than ever right now.
“Teachers and school staff have been going above and beyond to ensure students have access to nutritious food during what has been an especially difficult time for many,” MTS president James Bedford said. “There are so many benefits to these programs when it comes to student learning and building a sense of community in schools.”
The extended pilot project builds on the provincial government’s $2.5-million program that was announced in June. It is being delivered by Andrews Street Family Centre Inc. and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. in Winnipeg, Samaritan House in Brandon, Cross Lake Community Council in partnership with Food Matters Manitoba in the community of Cross Lake, and Bayline Regional Round Table in Thicket Portage, Pikwitonei, Ilford/War Lake and Wabowden.
The number of children served by the pilot project has grown over the past several months. By the end of August, more than 2,100 children were receiving a breakfast box and in total more than 6,700 boxes have been distributed, according to the province. Partners will continue to work with families in their community to build relationships and expand the program to those who need it. An evaluation led by the province’s Social Innovation Office will identify areas for improvement and provide recommendations regarding the pilot program.
Participating families will continue to receive packages of healthy foods, along with recipes and learning activities developed by the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba.