More students at W.P. Bate Community School will benefit from a daily hot lunch after the organization that represents Saskatoon paramedics answered a call for assistance.
The school received a $10,000 donation from the Saskatoon Paramedics Association to purchase and install a commercial convection oven to support the school's nutrition program and its participation in the Good Food for Learning research project.
Shelly Fedrau, the school's community coordinator, said the oven makes it possible for the school to double its daily lunch offering from 125 students to 250 students, along with 40 staff members, as part of its participation in the Good Food for Learning research project.
"This donation helps improve overall health and learning outcomes," she said. "Feeding hungry minds eliminates learning barriers since hungry students do not learn well. Increasing our lunch offering provides food security and stability to our students while in school. An intentional connection to nutrition education has also increased and cross-curricular connections to food, nutrition and agriculture are being enhanced."
Good Food for Learning is a two-year, University of Saskatchewan study of a curriculum-integrated school lunch program as well practices for school food programs. Two Saskatoon Public Schools, W.P. Bate and Mayfair, are participating in the study.
The study looks at the impact of curriculum-integrated, healthy school lunch program in elementary schools. Food consumption, dietary quality, and food- and nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices are also a part of the effort. Researchers will measure outcomes and provide future direction to public health policy and practice.