The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is happy to announce the start of the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program! From January to June 2019, almost 16,000 students attending 87 northern elementary schools from Thunder Bay to Manitouwadge to Fort Severn will receive two free, weekly servings of fruits and vegetables through this initiative. The program will be making fresh produce available to children who may not otherwise have access to it during the winter months, including hundreds of children attending First Nations community schools.
The program is unique, in that it supplies all elementary school children in our district with fresh fruit and vegetables during the winter and spring months of the school year,” says Rachel Globensky, coordinator of the Northern Fruits and Vegetables Program. “The program provides children with a wide variety of vegetables and fruit to increase their awareness and consumption as well as impact their likability of fruit and vegetables. We are pleased to be able to partner with our school boards to offer ongoing healthy eating education and food skills workshops, and are very excited about more children in our district eating more fruits and veggies!”
The program, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, offers Ontario-grown produce when available, and distributed through the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, has been operating successfully in northeastern Ontario since 2006. NFVP’s expansion into northwestern Ontario has rolled-out over two years. All road-accessible schools and remote communities with Northern Stores began receiving the program in May 2018, and as delivery logistics are determined, all other remote-access community elementary schools will be included in the 2019 phase of the program.
In addition to this fresh produce, schools will receive educational resources that highlight the benefits of healthy eating and being physically active.
For more information about the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program, please visit TBDHU.com/NFVP.
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