Retooling direct delivery programming to support student nutrition programs across the Southwest region in a time of crisis.

The Ontario Student Nutrition Program – Southwest Region (OSNP – SW) understood that schools would  encounter challenges when attempting to purchase safe, affordable prepackaged food and produce items to operate their student nutrition program. As such, OSNP rolled out a special, new COVID-19 School Food Delivery (SFD) Program as part of our COVID-19 response. Schools had a chance to opt out of receiving their OSNP grant funds and instead participate in the OSNP COVID-19 School Food Delivery Program. The SFD program offers weekly deliveries of 4 days’ worth of fresh produce and the opportunity to purchase food credits to order additional supplementary items at competitive pricing.  

Due to the uncertainty of whether schools would remain open, OSNP – SW decided to run three phases which offered flexibility in programming. With this, it allowed OSNP to shift from direct delivery to community support relatively easily. The three phases are as follows:

    Phase 1 – November and December 2020

    Phase 2 – January to March 2021

    Phase 3 – April to June 2021

With provincial protocols and parameters due to COVID-19 (ie social distancing, the manner in which food is served in schools, limited volunteers, etc), OSNP offered two menu options to provide flexibility to SNPs. Here’s a sample menu:

MENU OPTION ONELow prep, pre-washed produce that will be sent in bulk (ie apples, mini cucumbers, pears)
ApplesaucePlastic spoons (individually packaged)Pears (pre-washed)ClementinesBananasApplesaucePlastic spoons (individually packaged)ClementinesBananas

To see the SNPs that participated in 2020.21 SFD program, please click here.

Below, you will find the total number of schools which participated in each phase:

    Phase 1 – 232

    Phase 2 – 219

    Phase 3 – 216

To showcase the magnitude of the SFD program, below you will find a few statistics from Phase Two of the Program.

In the Southwest region, VON funds just over 450 schools and of those schools, 220 schools participated in the SFD program.

🏡 In phase 2, of the 220 schools that participated, 59% were targeted.

🧒 On average, in phase 2, 34,000+ students were reached in one day of the program

🍌 In one day, there was over 5,000 lbs of bananas sourced

🧡 An in another day, over 17,000 units of clementines were procured
OSNP – SW plans to run the SFD program in the 2021.22 school year. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to your local Community Development Coordinator or email [email protected].

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