The Food First Foundation is a registered charity whose mission is to support nutrition education programs in schools across the NWT.
The most recent data indicates that 29% of NWT children live in food-insecure households; the second highest of any province/territory in Canada. Many of these households include children; children who are going to school hungry, children who are going to school undernourished.
Not only is it a matter of quantity of food, but also quality. The problems associated with nutrition are so large that even communities doing relatively well still need help.
Inadequate nutrition leads to poor concentration, classroom behavioural issues, higher absenteeism, low self esteem and reduced scholastic success. Healthy food provides the nutrients children need to be attentive and enthusiastic in school, increasing their ability to concentrate, learn and develop into outstanding adults.
Education is our primary focus as an organization "Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime" is the core philosophy of our organisation. In the NWT we are currently operating our Taste Makers cooking program which complements the existing curriculum and brings it to life. This program also includes gardening and composting units. Food First has distributed indoor gardens and other hands-on learning materials to schools across the NWT to spark students' interest in learning how to grow their own food.
We support breakfast, lunch, and snack programs in schools, helping feed students in need so that they can focus on learning. We help schools stock their kitchens with the equipment needed to run these programs, and to teach their students valuable kitchen skills.
We host nutrition education events, such as the Great Big Crunch, in schools across the North, to encourage healthy eating and teach students about where their food comes from.