June 12, 2014 5:54 pm

Clavet students take a bite out of hunger

Watch above: Clavet students make national competition finals

SASKATOON- A small village in Saskatchewan has been short-listed in a national competition for their school’s unique food program idea.

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On Thursday, Global News paid a visit to Clavet Composite School as buses full of school children started to arrive. It’s a scene not unlike many at schools in rural settings but what was special here was inside where students were stationed throughout the hallways, ready to offer their peers healthy food after a long bus ride.

“It’s important because lots of kids don’t eat breakfast and breakfast is the most the important meal of the day,” said Danielle Hamm, a grade five student who helps run the breakfast program.

Approximately 90 per cent of the student body of 600 is bussed to the school every day, with many children riding for more than 45 minutes before arriving at school.

“You hear from a lot of kids that this makes a world of difference, when they get up in the morning they’re not ready to eat yet by the time they get here they’re hungry and you know you can’t learn when you’re hungry,” said Brian Matisz, the principal at Clavet Composite School.

Now the school is hoping to take an even bigger bite out of hunger and offer the “Clavet Kids in the Kitchen” program.

“I would like to see the students run the program, they can take charge and take leadership roles and in order to do that they need to know safe food handling skills and know about proper nutrition, what’s healthy, what’s not healthy,” said Violet Dilsner, the school’s health promoter and pioneer behind the idea.

“We are dedicated to promoting healthy eating and we want students to learn the skills to make healthy choices,”said grade nine student and breakfast program volunteer Eva Francis-Work.

The program would be geared towards grade five students at the school and would consist of a series of five weekly classes. Once trained, said Dilsner, some of the nutritious food made by the students will be used in the breakfast program.

The idea has made the finals in a national competition.

“We’re competing against Toronto so we can learn nutrition skills,” said grade five student Caitlyn Francis-Work.

So far the entry has more than than 1,100 votes, three times the population of Clavet according to Dilsner. By mid-afternoon on Thursday, the idea was in third place but the group is hoping to place first with a little help from the public.

“We could get new supplies for cooking lessons for the grade fives and new stuff for the breakfast program,” said Emma Shavatoski, another breakfast program volunteer in grade five.

According to the school’s application, the majority of the budget would be used for staff salaries and kitchen equipment.

“A win would be huge, we could buy new equipment, new things for our program, extra food, resources, shortage is a big problem in this school,” said Dilsner.

Selected to be a finalist from more than one hundred and twenty entries, the CST Inspired Minds Learning Project competition ends June 16 with $20,000 awarded to the grand prize winner.

“It’s a great program for kids and it makes a difference in their day on a daily basis so that’s the biggest reason they should vote for us., said Matisz.

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