The Pure Flavor® Adopt-A-School Program was created to support the various health initiatives lead by schools across North America. By providing fresh snacking vegetables on a regular basis, we not only introduce kids of all ages to new flavor experiences, but also ensure that they are getting nutritional education at the same time. Mel Brown, Principal at Giles Campus Public School in Windsor, ON, shares her experience with Pure Flavor®‘s Adopt-a-School program, which helps fuel their #FullBellyFullEffort movement by feeding students healthy Mini Munchies® veggie snack packs on a regular basis.

When people think about their elementary school experience, they often think of math or reading. Perhaps they have fond memories of a favourite teacher or field trip, or even the fun they had at recess. It’s unlikely that someone’s first recollection of elementary school would be a breakfast program, but for many of the students at Giles Campus French Immersion Public School, our morning breakfast program is one of their favourite parts of the day, and ensures that students get off to the best start possible.

Every morning, students are greeted in the hallway by a Giles staff member offering selections from the breakfast cart. There is always a grain (bagel, granola bar, melba toast, biscuit), a protein (cheese, yogurt, hummus), and a fruit. But one of the most popular options each morning is the Mini Munchies® bag from Pure Flavor®. On Mondays, students are always excited to see whether the bag will bring multi-coloured or red tomatoes, a cucumber, or a mini pepper. Several students choose two bags each morning, one for breakfast and second for them to enjoy at lunch time. While we offer ranch dressing and hummus as accompaniments, most of our students prefer the veggies just as they are – straight from the Pure Flavor® greenhouses.

As a French Immersion school, we are always looking for opportunities to engage “en français” in real-life situations. Our breakfast program provides students with a fantastic opportunity to “order breakfast” in our target language. At the breakfast stations, we have useful vocabulary posted “Est-ce que je peux avoir . . .?” (May I have . . .) or “J’aimerais essayer . . .” (I would like to try . . .) so that students have the necessary language at their fingertips. While some of our fruit and grain options may change, our Condors have certainly mastered the vocabulary for “les tomates”, “les concombres” and “les poivrons”, since they have been selecting these options from Pure Flavor® since they started donating several years ago.

Prior to the implementation of our Breakfast Program, our school ran a morning snack program, with bins arriving to classrooms for the morning break around 10am. We recognized that many in our school community were leaving for school before 8am, and often without breakfast. By shifting our program to morning entry, we noticed an almost immediate decrease in disciplinary issues, and the ability for students to remain in class with a more sustained focus on the lesson at hand. It was around that time that we created the movement #FullBellyFullEffort, to reinforce that with the opportunity to begin their day with a nutritious breakfast, students give the effort they need for a successful day at school.

Pure Flavor® has continued to accommodate our program for more than four years, and are an example of a true community partner. They are very much a part of our #FullBellyFullEffort movement at Giles Campus, and we are extremely grateful for the continued generosity of Pure Flavor®. We simply couldn’t run our program without them.