There is a growing waiting list of schools looking for help with feeding hungry students in Manitoba. 

The Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba is already supporting over 300 meal and snack programs, serving 46,000 students every day. 

Over 50 programs are currently on the waiting list. This does not include the many other schools in the province who would benefit from a meal and snack program. 

Council chairperson Wendy Bloomfield says there are more requests coming in every day. 

“What we’re finding is with grocery prices going through the roof, programs are struggling more and more to make ends meet,” she says. “We did get a large infusion of money from the government a year ago which allowed us to increase the grants and wipe out our waiting list at that time.” 

Bloomfield notes there is also an increase in the number of children accessing the food programs. 

In 2022-23, the Council granted $2.7M to Manitoba schools. The grants were able to cover approximately 20% of calculated food costs. The Council reports the total calculated food costs were estimated to be $15M. 

A year ago, the province allocated $1.3M to school nutrition programs through the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba. 

Bloomfield notes they do not have unlimited sources and that is the reason programs are put on a waiting list. 

The Council holds fundraisers to help support these programs. Donations are also accepted. 

During the past school year, the Council reported incoming funds of $2,500,000 from the province (from the departments of Mental Health & Community Wellness, and Indigenous Reconciliation & Northern Relations), and $502,321 through grants and fundraising. Of that money, 89% was used to provide grants for meal and snack programs. 

During the past school year, there were 168 meal and snack programs outside of Winnipeg, reaching 22,807 students. 

These programs are running across the province including in the Hanover, Border Land, Red River Valley, Portage la Prairie, Sunrise, Seine River, Turtle Mountain and Western school divisions. 

There were 146 meal and snack programs and four summer academic learning programs in Winnipeg, reaching 23,360 students. 

Click here to find out ways that you can give to these child nutrition programs. 


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