School Breakfast Program
The Ottawa School Breakfast Program celebrates the launch of Nutrition Month with a Great Big Crunch!

March 11, 2013 / School Breakfast Program


National Nutrition Month gets underway with a Great Big Crunch with the Ottawa School Breakfast Program, Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board!

On Thursday, March 7, Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) launched the start of National Nutrition Month together with 200 students and staff from Cambridge Street Public School. The Mayor, along with representatives of the Ottawa Board of Health, the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE) and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) led the countdown to Ottawa’s “Great Big Crunch”. 

“We need to make sure our children learn food skills at an early age in order for them to become thriving adults who know how to eat well,” said Mayor Watson. “Good nutrition is a learned skill that protects us throughout our lifetime.”

“The recent release of the provincially mandated Healthy Kids Panel report reminds us that poor nutrition and obesity among youth has become a national epidemic. That’s why it is great to be part of an initiative that encourages young people to be excited about healthy eating and active living.” 

The Great Big Crunch sees students from across Canada taking a big synchronized bite of a healthy fruit or vegetable. In 2012, 112,352 participants made the loudest coordinated crunch yet. The Toronto-based non-profit organization FoodShare promotes this annual event and invites students and teachers to talk about, share, and enjoy healthy eating while learning about the local and global food systems. Results for 2013 will be posted on and on 

“For many of us, healthy nutrition is about going back to the basics of planning, shopping and cooking,” said Board of Health Member Tim Hutchinson.  “Creating a grocery shopping strategy, reading and comparing food labels, filling the cart with fresh produce, and preparing more meals at home are just some of the strategies that OPH encourages all residents to use.”

ONFE’s School Breakfast Program (SBP) brings together Ottawa’s four school boards, volunteers, community organizations and businesses to prioritize the nutritional needs of children and youth.  In Ottawa, 11,300 children in 148 schools begin each school day with a nutritious meal provided by the Program. For more information about ONFE and the SBP visit their website

“The Great Big Crunch event is a wonderful opportunity to promote and provide local, healthy food to Ottawa children and youth, and continue our work together with OPH and local school boards ensuring that all children in our community have the nutrition needed to learn and grow,” said Kathryn McKinlay, President and CEO of ONFE.

“The Ottawa Carleton District School Board is delighted to host a Great Big Crunch event and to celebrate our partnerships with OPH and ONFE’s School Breakfast Program in promoting healthy eating to our students,” said Neil Yorke-Slader, Superintendent of Instruction, OCDSB.