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Bienfait Weldon School one of 10 winners from across Saskatchewan in nutrition challenge

Bienfait Weldon School is one of 10 schools in Saskatchewan to receive a $10,000 grant to support student nutrition, after being selected through this year’s Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge.
Bienfait pic

Bienfait Weldon School is one of 10 schools in Saskatchewan to receive a $10,000 grant to support student nutrition, after being selected through this year’s Mosaic School Nutrition Challenge. 

The school will use the money to renovate the existing kitchen lab, offer student cooking programs and purchase a new commercial dishwasher. 

Bienfait Weldon’s School Community Council (SCC) put in the work for the application. President Theresa Hermann said she decided to apply after she was told about the grant by one of the teachers.

“When I looked at it, it was for student nutrition and nutrition-related activities or programs,” said Hermann. “Included in that was updates to kitchens in the school.” 

The kitchen where the school’s breakfast program operates needed some updates and renovations.  

Hermann is confident that the money from Mosaic should cover these expenses. 

“We have a great breakfast program, and that’s why we didn’t go towards more of the nutrition side of it, because we have funding from the RM every year, and we are able to get the students breakfast every single day, and snacks that fall under the Canada Food Guide recommendations,” said Hermann. 

They wish they could do more, but the SCC thought the renovations would be a good idea.  

The kitchen is in a large room that is shared with art classes. There are cabinets, stoves and an existing dishwasher, but the latter has often not been working. 

All of their dry goods are stored in a small closet. 

“The updates that we’re wanting to do in there are to purchase shelving for all of the dry goods, so that nothing’s on the floor, and everything is up and where it’s supposed to be in good order, and we’re also wanting to create a large island with cabinets and a countertop so we can utilize that for prep, for the kitchen or for the breakfast program,” said Hermann. 

It could also be used to teach kids, or even their parents, how to cook, through a monthly cooking class. 

“We think it’s beneficial for everyone to have the basic kitchen skills, and to know how to cook one or two meals for themselves or their families when they’re older,” said Hermann.  

The breakfast and nutrition program at Bienfait Weldon is open to the 121 students enrolled in kindergarten to Grade 8. Many of them access the breakfast program on a regular basis. The program has been around for a number of years.  

The SCC put a lot of work into their proposal to Mosaic, and Hermann said she was very excited to find out that Bienfait Weldon had been selected.  

The grants from across the province will support winning projects that have goals, including supporting reconciliation projects, enhancing kitchen and garden facilities, increasing educational opportunities for students and families and expanding nutrition programs.  

“We can’t wait to see what this year’s winning schools create with their funding for the next school year,” said Sarah Fedorchuk, The Mosaic Company’s vice-president of government and public affairs for North America.  

“From gardens to cooking classes to breakfast programs, these 10 schools are providing healthier school environments that are sure to have a lasting impact on students and their schools, building on the program’s legacy that’s helped deliver better access to nutritious food in 70 Saskatchewan schools.” 

To encourage grassroots initiatives to help improve student nutrition, this program, formerly known as the Mosaic Extreme School Makeover Challenge, began in 2006.