reddeer-schoolbus_thumb
reddeer-schoolbus_thumb This article is more than 3 years old

Alberta School Boards Go Public With Concerns UCP Government May Scrap Student Nutrition Grant

One public school is pleading for money on Facebook to keep program afloat

The Alberta government’s “nutrition grant” — which helps cover breakfasts for public school students in need — is at risk, one United Conservative Party MLA allegedly told Lethbridge school board officials.

The board’s chair told PressProgress UCP MLA Nathan Neudorf told members cuts to discretionary grants, including the nutrition grant, were likely, during a lunchtime meeting in late April. “We certainly got the impression that those grants would be on the table for being cut. I left feeling I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get this,” Clark Bosch, Chair of Lethbridge Public Schools said.

Neudorf’s office declined PressProgress‘ requests for comment.

The Lethbridge meeting’s purpose was to get certainty from the incoming government about what grants the school board could expect, so they could factor it into budgeting. Soon, after, representatives went public about the risks the grant faces.

A representative of the board, Garrett Simmons, told the Lethbridge Herald “The potential loss of our school nutrition grant will certainly have an impact throughout the district.”

Lethbridge’s nutrition grant is $252,000 and that feeds students at 10 schools. “Anyone who would consider cutting this nutrition grant needs to spend time in any school to see this program and see how many kids are being fed,” said Bosch.

Uncertainty over the program’s future has reached a point where one school has even started asking local businesses on Facebook to donate $100 per month, or $1000 per year to maintain the program.

Normandeau Public School said a large number of their students come from “homes that are struggling to make ends meet,” in a letter posted to the school’s Facebook profile and banner image. “For many, these meals are the only meals they receive in the day.”

Having still received no confirmation, school boards across the province have had to plan without this certainty ahead of the UCP’s “late October” budget.

Trisha Estabrooks, chair of Edmonton Public Schools, told PressProgress Edmonton’s public schools depend on the grant to cover the nutrition program’s $1.2 million expense.

“We just don’t know as a board. Unpredictable funding leads to unpredictable student results. We had to go ahead based on a number of assumptions. That’s the situation for lots of folks across the province,” Estabrooks said.

Representatives of Alberta’s Education Minister, Adriana LeGrange, did not respond to PressProgress’ request for comment.

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-10-01 Video

Pierre Poilievre Claims He’s a Friend of the ‘Working Class’. He’s Spent Years Attacking Canadian Workers.

Related Stories

Video

Far-Right Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Praises Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre

View the post
News

Amazon’s Use of “Massive Loophole” in Labour Law Hinders Courier Union Drive

View the post
News

Christian Nationalists Are Organizing Against LGBTQ Education Resources in Schools

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Newspapers always have a business section – why not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers