Health & Well-being

School Breakfast Program

A nutritious breakfast is the launch-pad for a full day of focused learning.

The Ottawa School Breakfast Program provides students in need with a nutritious breakfast. This gives them the chance to start their day ready to learn and on equal footing with their peers.

With support from individual and corporate donors, volunteers, educators, the City of Ottawa, and the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, we ensure that local children and youth have the energy their growing bodies and developing brains need to succeed in school.

About the Program


Through no fault of their own, thousands of children and youth arrive at school hungry. This is a serious problem, because hungry students can’t learn. As food costs and food insecurity rates soar, demand for the breakfast program also grows. In the past 3 years alone, 35 schools and 1,000 breakfast participants were added to the program. There are many reasons why a student might be at risk of coming to school hungry, and one of the most important reasons is family income; in fact, 1 in 5 children in Ottawa live in poverty.


Each school day, ONFE’s School Breakfast Program operates 221 breakfast and snack programs in 193 Ottawa schools, providing over 13,500 nutritious meals to students. That's over 2.5 million meals per year! This program is essential to the health and well-being of children and youth in our community.


Research confirms that children and youth who eat a healthy breakfast engage more in class and perform better academically. They also have better attendance, and fewer behaviour issues. In Ottawa, 90% of principals surveyed agree that students who participate in the program appear happier and more engaged in their daily learning and activities.

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“By being broadly available to all students, regardless of background, the breakfast program has helped level the playing field for our students.”

~ Ottawa School Principal, 2017

The School Breakfast Program’s Impact

ONFE’s School Breakfast Program: Making a difference, one breakfast at a time.

Get Tools & Resources for the School Breakfast Program

Whether your school offers a School Breakfast Program or a snack program, our School Toolkit has resources and information to help your program succeed. Available resources include budgeting advice, menu planning guidelines, healthy recipes, and more.

You Can Help Students Learn

Children and youth who eat a healthy breakfast engage more in class, perform better academically, and have fewer behavioural issues. Your donation will help provide 13,500 local children with a nutritious breakfast and the chance to start each school day on equal footing with their peers.

Volunteer with the School Breakfast Program

The School Breakfast Program is supported by dedicated volunteers that assist with a variety of essential tasks, like food preparation, breakfast service, and more. You can help us support local children and youth, one breakfast at a time.