Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia doubles annual funding for school breakfast programs

The province says it will now spend about $2 million a year on the School Healthy Eating Program.

Extra funding ensures all Nova Scotia public schools will now be able to offer breakfast programs

Burton Ettinger Elementary serves breakfast for between 60 and 70 children every day. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The province has announced a boost in annual funding for breakfast programs at public schools across Nova Scotia.

Halifax Atlantic MLA Brendan Maguire, on behalf of Health Minister Randy Delorey, announced Monday the province is following through on a promise made last September to double its annual funding for the School Healthy Eating Program to $1.975 million.

Andrea Briand, principal of Burton Ettinger Elementary, where the announcement was made, said the Halifax school serves breakfast for between 60 and 70 children every day.

"Over the course of a year we serve around 10,000 meals," she said.

The extra funding, provided through the non-profit group Nourish, ensures all Nova Scotia public schools will now be able to offer breakfast programs.

Briand said the funding means her school can expand its program to include more fruits and vegetables.

"It ensures that we have continuous funding all the time, that we don't have to worry about being short at any time," she said.

"Also, we'll be able to offer some more high-end items like fruits and vegetables, which are extremely expensive, especially during this time of year."

According to the Health Department's news release, the program served more than five million breakfasts to Nova Scotia students last year.

Briand said the program ensures children come to school ready to learn, without the distraction of empty bellies.

"If we can take care of some of the basic needs of the children and take those off their plate then we can focus some more on their academic success," she said.