Fall 2021 Update: Providing nutrition, and staying safe
We’re ensuring that K-12 students can start the day ready to learn on equal footing with their peers – while also being able to follow physical distancing and other safety protocols.
“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
Summer Nutrition Program
This summer ONFE partnered with the Ottawa Food Bank to deliver complimentary nutritious meals to children and youth across the city, supporting them during the ongoing pandemic.
Since the School Breakfast Replacement Kit Program launched following school closures in March 2020, ONFE has served 55,681 kits – the equivalent of 1,254,697 meals – directly to neighbourhoods of kids in need.
FAQs about running a program
We’ve received many questions about running breakfast programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click below to view the most common logistical questions and answers.
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.
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.
The School Breakfast Program’s Impact
ONFE’s School Breakfast Program: Making a difference, one breakfast at a time.
Bring a Program to Your School
ONFE’s School Breakfast Program accepts and reviews new program applications twice a year. If you wish to apply for a breakfast or snack program, please complete the application forms linked below.
Please note: Applications must be submitted by the School Principal.
For a September start date, applications are due by June 15th.
For a February start date, applications are due by November 26th.
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 who eat a healthy breakfast engage more in class, perform better academically, and have fewer behaviour 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.