Every morning in math class, the scene is the same. The noise of wrappers crinkling. The sweet smell of some Asian cuisine. My peers dive into their lunches to satisfy their desire for food. It is at this time I wonder most – what is happening with the snack program this year?

Those with the same queries as mine are in luck. I sat down with Ms. Mazzaferro on Friday afternoon to get the inside scoop on the snack program this year. Ms. Mazzaferro is one of our vice-principals and the person in charge of the snack program.

When will the snack program be starting up again?
The snack program will be starting up this Monday, October 3rd.

How much money will be collected per student in support of the program?
Ms. Goldenberg is planning on collecting $2 per student, as to when she’ll be doing that, I am unsure. It’s her initiative so I do not know the date for that.

Where does the rest of the money to support the program come from?
There are two programs, the TDSB nutrition services and the Student Nutrition Program which support the snack program.

Information on the latter of these can be found here.

When will the snack program be running – just on day 1 like last year?
Yes. The reason for this is that it’s easier to get the snack to the homeform classes, that’s all.

Does the ban on chocolate milk from last year still hold?
Yes, the ban is still in effect. Chocolate milk isn’t completely approved for on the new health menu from the TDSB, however students can still buy chocolate milk from the cafeteria. The ban on chocolate milk will stay in place until I see that the food is handled respectfully.

As you said, there are new health regulations on food in schools. Will this affect the snack program?
Every aspect of food and nutrition in the TDSB will be affected. It will affect food sold in the cafeteria a lot more than the snack program. Students are still free to bring in their own unhealthy foods, they just cannot be sold in the cafeteria. We have seen an increase in students bringing in their own pop, chips, that sort of thing.

Can we expect any new, interesting foods?
I’m not completely sure. There will be healthy alternatives, so things like whole wheat or multigrain breads, we saw some of that last year as well. There will be seasonal fruits; apples are in season now so the snack on Monday will include apples. Other than that, the snack menu will be pretty standard, the main thing affected is the breads as I said. There will also be low-fat dairy, except for the milk. The students will still receive 2% milk.

How do you feel the snack program benefits the school community?
Everyone is fed, so we are providing food to all the students who need it. Everyone’s able to get something into their body so they have energy for the day. The snack also doesn’t have to be consumed in the morning, students can carry it with them and eat it at lunch or in the afternoon, whenever they are hungry.

Some friends of mine had some concern over the expiry date of some of the food, do you have any comments on that?
We do try to be very careful, making sure everything is above board in terms of the expiry date. Some stuff slips every now and then, it is a huge amount of food to manage, so if that has happened, it is not on purpose.

So there you have it. The snack program will be starting up again on Monday, folks! Great news. Thanks again to Ms. Mazzaferro for the information.