NAN press release
THunder Bay, ON, April 23 - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy together with ONEXONE Foundation, a charitable organization committed to fighting poverty and preserving the lives of children in Canada and around the world, is celebrating First Nations school nutrition programs recently launched in four NAN communities.
"I am delighted that this program has been made available to NAN First Nations and I hope it can be expanded to more of our communities because every child deserves a proper, nutritious breakfast before heading off to school," said Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "NAN First Nations understand the importance of proper nutrition, but quality food is very expensive in many of our communities. By providing healthy breakfasts we hope this program will lead to better health and a better quality of life for our young people."
School nutrition programs have been established in Poplar Hill First Nation, Deer Lake First Nation and Fort Albany First Nation as well as Mine Centre Ontario, which is attended by children from Chapleau Ojibway First Nation.
"ONEXONE is honoured to dedicate funds we raise to supporting and working in partnership with First Nations communities to deliver school-based breakfast programs," said ONEXONE founder Joelle Adler. "A nutritious and healthy school breakfast helps students succeed academically each day."
ONEXONE Foundation and the Assembly of First Nations launched the National First Nations School Nutrition Program in 2007 in 10 First Nation schools and communities across Canada as a national outreach initiative designed to provide First Nations children who live in poverty with a school nutrition program. Quaker and Dole brand name food supplies for the program are donated by Pepsi Beverages Canada.
"As a breakfast leader with trusted brands like Quaker and Dole, we are proud to partner with ONEXONE to support the National First Nations School Breakfast Program," said Pepsi Beverages Canada President Stacy Reichert. "This partnership underlines our fundamental belief that everyone, especially children, should start the day with a nutritious breakfast."
The program is designed to teach students the importance of healthy lifestyles and the value of nutritious food, and to promote education in nutrition and healthy living.
"Many of our students would come to school without having a healthy breakfast and as a result their energy level is often low, which leads to poor performance in the classroom. We all know that we cannot perform to our fullest potential when we are hungry; therefore, a program like this allows our students to aim higher and achieve more in the classroom environment," said Poplar Hill School Vice-Principal Kirsten Ryan.
"Our program at Peetabeck Academy provides students with nutritional, appealing food each day. Students who previously participated in our snack program regularly exhibited higher levels of concentration, motivation and energy as well as decreased levels of disruptive behaviour," said Joan Metatawabin, Food Coordinator in Fort Albany. "This breakfast program was needed due to the change in eating habits away from traditional foods and the isolated location of Fort Albany, as community members have a difficult time accessing affordable, healthy food for their children."
ONEXONE is a non-profit foundation founded by Joelle Berdugo Adler in 2005. ONEXONE is committed to preserving and improving the lives of children in Canada and around the world and is dedicated to helping create a world where children can live safely and with dignity.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty 5 - an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario.
For further information: Michael Heintzman, Media Relations Officer - Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4906 or (807) 621-2790 mobile; Elisa Levi, Director, First Nations School Nutrition Programs - ONEXONE, (416) 462-2797 or (416) 527-0345 mobile