First Nations School Breakfast Program is entering Alberta for the first time thanks to a partnership between AltaLink and ONEXONE.
The program – made possible by a $50,000 donation from AltaLink – will provide hundreds of students from Paul Band First Nation and Ermineskin Cree First Nation with a daily nutritional breakfast that will give them the fuel they need to succeed.
“We’d like to thank AltaLink for coming on board as a sponsor to bring this important initiative to Alberta,” said Joelle Berdugo Adler, founder of ONEXONE Foundation. “First Nations children suffer the greatest levels of poverty among all children in Canada. They do not always know where they will find their next meal and they are unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.”
In Canada, 40 per cent of First Nations children live in poverty, compared to the national average of 17 per cent. Since the ONEXONE First Nations School Breakfast Program first began in 2008 it supports more than 4,500 children from 30 First Nations communities across Canada each year, which equals more than 600,000 balanced breakfasts.
“As Alberta’s largest electricity transmission company, it’s important to us to support the communities where we operate,” said Ed Rihn, Aboriginal Relations at AltaLink. “We’re proud to partner with ONEXONE to bring this breakfast program to Alberta to support the growth and development of our province’s future Indigenous leaders. Our hope is that it will help students stay in school, learn, develop and meet their full potential.”
The healthy meals that ONEXONE has been providing to children at the start of each school day have been shown to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on learning, creativity, test grades and even attendance.
“We know the impact that a nutritional breakfast can have on our students’ success,” said Debbie Michael, principal, Ermineskin School. “They want to work hard and do amazing things, but it’s not always easy to do on an empty stomach, so we are thrilled to welcome this program to our school and look forward to seeing our students thrive as a result.