School Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack Programs
Across the Northwest Territories, schools are key players in reducing food insecurity within their communities.
Every NWT school offers some form of food program to help feed students in need: everything from school-cooked breakfasts offered daily to snacks available in the office for anyone who needs them.
While there is funding available for school food programs from the territorial government and other sources, most often this funding can only be used to cover food costs, and never seems to be enough to meet the needs of the schools. Many NWT communities are remote and isolated, meaning the cost of fresh food, as well as shipping costs, are tremendous.
We aim to supplement these larger funding sources with support that can be used flexibly, for supplies and equipment, shipping, staffing, and food. We take into consideration the cost of food in each community, alongside other factors, when allocating our funding.
Cooking & Nutrition Education
We support cooking initiatives of all forms in NWT schools. From home economics classes to community feasts, we love to see the creative things schools come up with to teach their students kitchen skills and the importance of food.
We also offer Taste Makers, a cooking and nutrition education resource, that can be used in schools and includes a teacher and student manual. From food safety to grocery budgeting to recipes and activities, the Taste Makers manuals have it all! Developed in the North for the North, this resource aligns with the NWT curriculum and is much-loved by many NWT schools.
Every year we send schools appliances and other kitchen equipment or funding for them to purchase it themselves. A well-stocked kitchen is essential for schools to run their food programs and operate their cooking classes.
Our NWT schools love gardening! While our outdoor growing season may be short, many schools take full advantage of the indoor gardens we send them as a hands-on and engaging way to teach kids how to grow their own food. We also buy outdoor gardening supplies for schools who have greenhouses or who are involved in their community gardens.
We also have Northern gardening and composting lesson plans available to schools as supplements to our Taste Makers program.
The Great Big Crunch NWT
The Great Big Crunch NWT is a special day, class, assembly, lunch hour, or even five minutes dedicated to apples and ending in a synchronized “crunch” to celebrate. We encourage schools to be creative…apple poetry, apple films, apple cooking etc. Activities do not have to be elaborate; we would just like students to enjoy an apple (or another crunchy, healthy snack of the school’s choice) and talk about food!
The Great Big Crunch is intended to promote healthy snacking, the importance of enjoying food together, and enhance student understanding of where their food comes from.