For 10 years Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School has been running a Breakfast Program through the Ontario Student Nutrition Program (OSNP). This program began with pre-packaged foods served in baskets dispersed throughout the school and has evolved to freshly prepared whole foods served daily.
Our School Breakfast Program serves freshly prepared whole food served by students in the School to Community Pathway’s Program (SCPP), a program that is made up of students identified with special needs. They prepare 300 servings of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein each day! This food is available to all 450 students who attend Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, who wish to access the school Breakfast Program. Because of the Breakfast Program our space is well used to provide our special needs students with skills such as authentic food preparation, life skills, organizational, and transitional workplace skills, as well as providing food for the greater school community. We prepare French toast, grilled fried eggs with shredded cheese, muffins of all sorts, overnight oats, breakfast chili, pancakes, smoothies and toasted English muffin sandwiches. Our students follow all Health Unit Food Handling Procedures. They wash fruits and vegetables with vinegar and learn the importance of washing before eating. They learn how to wash dishes using the three-sink method and sanitizing. In addition to the numerous skills SCPP students gain, the Breakfast Program has also provided a place where all students belong and feel included. The inclusivity fostered in this program has made our school community stronger.
Our Breakfast Program is successful; however, our life skills & food preparation area is ill equipped. To maintain and continue providing the high level of food quality that meets the Canada Food Guide’s emphasis on vegetables, fruits and eating together, we have proposed a new workspace and are seeking assistance in securing funds to help equip and make our “dream room” a reality.
Our goal is to create a more wheelchair accessible food preparation space for our students with physical and developmental disabilities. We are hoping to receive financial support to increase resources that are necessary for student achievement, as well as increase the equipment and tools that will simulate a realistic world environment within our class.
Currently, the SCPP program has 14 students and next year we will have 20, who will benefit from the OSNP Breakfast Program in preparing the various foods daily. We would like to have an inclusive workspace where all students, of all abilities and mobility, can gather around and work together on daily tasks. We have prioritized areas in our food preparation space, that we would like addressed first.
All 450 students at HCC will benefit from this space as the Breakfast Program is open to all students. Our program will continue to foster inclusivity and promote healthy eating.