President's Choice Children's Charity announced $1.8 million in funding over the next decade to go to childhood nutrition programs across P.E.I. — part of a $150 million funding commitment to schools across Canada.
"In celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, Loblaws has decided to, for the next decade, commit over $150 million across the country for breakfast programs that are run in schools including those that are on the Island," said Mark Boudreau, director of corporate affairs for the Atlantic region.
Boudreau said the charity has supported Breakfast for Learning programs in schools across Canada for years and is now heading the program to fund school breakfasts directly.
"As of today … we are taking Breakfast for Learning under our umbrella and it's going to be administered through President's Choice Children's Charity," he said.
"Schools across the province can count on $180,000 a year... over the next 10 years."
Children to benefit from a 'predictable' breakfast fund
P.E.I. schools that have a breakfast program in place can apply for funding to supply children with meals from Loblaws.
"What this enables us to do, and enable Islanders to do, is be able to benefit from a predictable amount of income over multiple years," he said.
'I've spoken with schools across the region and they're pretty thrilled about it.' — Mark Boudreau
Funds will come from donations made by shoppers at Atlantic Superstores on P.E.I.
100 per cent of the donations made will stay on the Island, he added.
"If we raise more, and Islanders typically exceed our fundraising goals, then absolutely these additional funds will be invested into kids nutrition on Prince Edward Island."
'The value of nutrition'
Funds will also help with education-based programs too, Boudreau said.
"There are lots of organizations out there that actually teach kids the value of nutrition and empower them to make healthy choices and responsible choices in terms of their food," he said.
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"Those organizations will work with our dietitians and we would support programs that are encouraging people to eat better."
Boudreau said Loblaws currently funds most schools on the Island in some capacity, and over the next year they hope every school in the province that has a breakfast program will benefit from the funding.
"We're still making calls to let schools know they have funds available for them to access," he said.
"I've spoken with schools across the region and they're pretty thrilled about it."
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