Six Months of Healthy Food for Joe A. Ross Students
Logos for Manitoba Harvest and Opaskwayak between images of Manitoba Harvest food deliveries at Joe A. Ross School.

Six Months of Healthy Food for Joe A. Ross Students

From January to June, every student attending Joe A. Ross School will receive a box of healthy and nutritious food to bring home to their families at the end of each month.

“When a child is hungry, they don’t learn as well,” says Bev Fontaine, Director of Education at Opaskwayak Education Services Inc. (OES). “We’re making sure our kids have proper meals and are in a good place to learn.”

Last August, Jason Stevens at Food Banks Canada contacted Fontaine’s team looking to reach northern communities with food security concerns. Stevens helped establish a partnership between OES and Harvest Manitoba and five months later, the first 600 boxes of food were delivered to Joe A. Ross School on January 26th.

The boxes were full of items such canned tuna, a family size box of Cheerios, Goldfish crackers, carrots, peanut butter, apple sauce and a 1% milk.

Students who would normally take the bus home called their parents to pick them up because the boxes were too heavy to carry home.

“The kids were excited,” says Fontaine. “My own grandson phoned me and said, ‘Come pick up this food!’.”

This partnership will ensure students have access to healthy food over the weekend and help families offset rising food costs.

In January, staff at Joe A. Ross School received more food boxes than the population of students at school. They sent 24 boxes to Hilda Young Childcare Centre and 42 boxes to Oscar Lathlin Collegiate that were distributed to the Grade 7 and 8 students.

OES and the staff at Joe A. Ross School would like to thank Food Banks Canada and Harvest Manitoba for providing food for families in need.

About Harvest Manitoba

Harvest Manitoba collects and shares 12 million pounds of healthy and nutritious food with children, families and adults living in Manitoban every year.

Harvest helps anyone who asks for food. Visit to learn more or contact the Food Support Line at 1-800-970-5559 or email