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They're working hard to make sure students can study with a full stomach

"One of the best parts of my job is going into the schools and seeing all the smiles on the students while they sit together and eat a healthy breakfast..."
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Kathy Broydell-Chippa (in the centre) is Community Development Coordinator of the Student Nutrition Program. She poses with happy students Kathleen (left) and Anne.

One of the many important and effective programs administered by Community Living North Bay focuses on student nutrition.

A lot goes into making sure it happens efficiently says Kathy Broydell-Chippa, the Community Development Coordinator of the Student Nutrition Program.

"In our region which consists of Nipissing, Muskoka, and Parry Sound there are over 11,000 students accessing the Student Nutrition Program on a daily basis. Within our region, we work with six school boards. The program is in all 103 schools ranging from Junior Kindergarten through to Grade 12," she adds.

Broydell-Chippa says it's a group effort to make it all happen, explaining "We have a team of three Community Development Coordinators, one Food and Logistics Coordinator and one manager. We all work together with the schools to ensure every student has the opportunity to have a healthy breakfast."

"Community Living North Bay administers provincial funding to schools to support the development and implementation of healthy breakfast or snacks. Schools supplement provincial funding through fundraising and grant writing for additional funds," she adds.

The goal is to ensure students can have healthy nutrition to learn without judgment.

"Staff, parents and many volunteers all work together to provide safe environments, free of judgment, in which children and youth can develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime."

So what's on the menu? Healthy basics says Broydell-Chippa.

"Served on a daily basis are fruit and or vegetables, dairy products and whole grains. An example of breakfast could be a banana, yogurt and a slice of whole-wheat toast. Every breakfast program is run independently within the school to meet the needs of that specific school."

She considers herself fortunate to have a job that allows her to make a difference.

"One of the best parts of my job is going into the schools and seeing all the smiles on the students while they sit together and eat a healthy breakfast, sharing stories, laughs, and getting ready to start their day with a full tummy," she explains.

If you want to get involved, the most common ways are to volunteer in a school to assist with the breakfast program, to donate funds to programs or supplies. or to organize a fundraiser for a school.

To reach Broydell-Chippa you can contact Community Living at (705) 476-3288.