Nu­tri­tious start to the day

The Glengarry News - - News - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

Em­manuel Salem­bier was ec­static as he placed two red ap­ples in a cou­ple of large blue plas­tic bowls at École Elda-Rouleau in Alexan­dria on Thurs­day morn­ing. The af­fa­ble Grade 2 stu­dent tri­umphantly raised his fists in the air and yelled like he had just scored a goal in the Stan­ley Cup fi­nals.

Em­manuel is one of sev­eral stu­dents in the school’s spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion class. Ev­ery morn­ing, they put to­gether healthy break­fast bowls – fruit, yogurt, cheese, bagels – and dis­trib­ute them among the class­rooms.

Ac­cord­ing to Jen­nifer Cuil­lerier, Stu­dent Nu­tri­tion Pro­gram Man­ager for the Up­per Canada Leger Cen­tre for Ed­u­ca­tion & Train­ing, it’s all part and par­cel of en­cour­ag­ing kids to eat healthy.

The nu­tri­tion pro­gram is made pos­si­ble through a part­ner­ship be­tween gov­ern­ment sources and pri­vate en­ter­prise. Mrs. Cuil­lerier says a por­tion of the fund­ing comes from the provin­cial Min­istry of Chil­dren and Youth, though it also re­ceives funds from the United Way, gro­cery foun­da­tions and other break­fast pro­grams.

She says the pro­gram tries to use lo­cal food pro­duc­ers like Lan­thier Bread and St. Al­bert Cheese as well as broader or­ga­ni­za­tions like Egg Farm­ers of On­tario.

Thurs­day morn­ing was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from other morn­ings at Elda-Rouleau be­cause the school had in­vited a num­ber of dig­ni­taries, in­clud­ing North Glen­garry Mayor Jamie Mac­Don­ald and Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell MP Françis Drouin, to see how the pro­gram works.

While Mr. Drouin was quick to ac­knowl­edge that the pro­gram doesn’t ben­e­fit from fed­eral fund­ing, he said he ap­pre­ci­ated know­ing that a lot of the food be­ing con­sumed came from lo­cal pro­duc­ers. It isn’t just El­daRouleau ben­e­fit­ing ei­ther. Mrs. Cuil­lerier says there are 247 such pro­grams that serve more than 46,000 kids a day.

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