Schools play a pivotal role in supporting the health of students. To support student success and well-being, the government is investing $2 million in the new Healthy Schools Fund and covering the increased cost of milk for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.
The Healthy Schools Fund will provide each school across the province with $5,000 and an additional $1 per student annually for programs and activities that support mental and physical health or cultural awareness.
“We are providing schools with additional resources so they can deliver programs centered around student well-being,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Schools can choose how to spend the money based on local needs and can use funds for activities including outdoor play, cultural awareness and programs that support mental health.”
Schools will work with students, teachers and school advisory councils to determine how to best spend money from the Healthy Schools Fund.
Nova Scotia’s School Milk Program prices will not increase for the current school year. The price was scheduled to increase in January due to rising production costs for dairy producers and processors. The government will absorb this increase to lessen the impact on students and families who are struggling financially.
“We want to support families who are feeling the impacts of inflation, as well as dairy producers and processors who are experiencing rising production costs,” said Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow. “By covering the increased costs for the rest of this year, we’re providing students with nutritious local milk each day through the Nova Scotia School Milk Program.”
The School Milk Program is cost shared between the Department of Agriculture and dairy producers and processors. It has provided milk daily to students in grades primary to 12 at a reduced price since 1974.
We know student success is directly linked to overall student well-being. This funding will provide schools an opportunity to directly improve our students’ mental, physical, social, and emotional health. We look forward to working with our school community to put these funds to use, whether that be increasing fitness activities, supporting our student-led groups and clubs, or expanding upon our cultural experiences.
Stephen Johnson, Principal, Hebbville Academy
- programs and activities through the Healthy School Fund must be aligned with the province’s curriculum
- a key priority for the government, as identified in the ministers’ mandate letters, is to expand healthy living opportunities for students by increasing personal fitness and mental health opportunities
- in 2019-2020, about 330 schools participated in the School Milk Program; some schools opted not to take part this year due to COVID-19 concerns
- the next increase in the price for school milk products will take effect in September 2022 and will be the first increase in more than eight years
- milk prices are set by the Natural Products Marketing Council, an adjudicative board established in legislation by the Department of Agriculture; the Council had approved an increase to the price of school milk for January 1, 2022; however, the Province agreed to cover the increase for the current school year
Mandate letter of the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-EECD.pdf
Nova Scotia School Milk Program: https://novascotia.ca/agri/programs-and-services/financial-funding/other-programs/
Natural Products Marketing Council: https://novascotia.ca/agri/about-us/agencies-boards-and-commissions/natural-products-marketing/