What is Food & Friends?

The Food & Friends Program brings healthy food to hungry minds. Breakfast, morning meal, snack and lunch programs offered throughout Dufferin, Wellington County and Guelph agencies and schools, provide an atmosphere of social inclusion amongst students who may otherwise feel marginalized. Students have decreased disruptive behaviours in the classroom, learn healthy eating habits and build strong social skills.

With the new school year starting, we have launched a new initiative called Food & Friends at Home in order to continue to support those most vulnerable during this transition period. Families with children and youth supported by the Children’s Foundation through the Food & Friends Program will be eligible to submit a request for a Food & Friends at Home kit. This kit will provide one snack for each day of a two week period similar to what would be provided through a Food & Friends student nutrition program.

To learn more about this initiative, click here.

Why Do We Exist?

Many children go to school unprepared to learn. They have not had the right nourishment, which makes it difficult to focus. Numerous studies have shown that children who are hungry do not perform as well as others in school. Our programs help children reach their potential.

We support vulnerable children and youth by:
  • Applying for grants on behalf of student nutrition programs
  • Ensuring criteria and reporting requirements for grants are fulfilled as programs are delivered
  • Assisting individual programs with their local fundraising efforts
  • Recruiting and training volunteers to ensure appropriate food menu planning and safe food handling
  • Providing continuity and assistance in the administration of programs
  • Organizing forums to promote best practices to enable continuous improvement
  • Maintaining quality assurance regarding guidelines and standards recommended by the ministry and national charities that provide funding for school-based nutrition programs
How we make a difference:
  • Provide children and youth with a positive start to the day
  • Improve their learning abilities
  • Decrease disruptive behaviours in the classroom
  • Encourage positive social skills
  • Teach children and youth healthy eating habits

FF Kids

2019 Facts & Information



102 Student Nutrition Programs served 20,500 students 2,775,000 meals



835 adults and 975 students volunteered 8,470 hours of their time to support Food & Friends programs.

Cost Elementary

$1.45 provides an elementary school meal (breakfast, morning meal, lunch) and $0.90 provides a healthy snack.


Secondary Cost

$2.20 provides a secondary school meal (breakfast, morning meal, lunch) and $1.30 provides a healthy snack.

Program Partners

Our community partners include agencies, organizations and private sector companies who support us in our mission, principals, and beliefs. 

Ontario Logo
Funded in part by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Tim Hortons Logo

BCC Logo

YMCA LogoAdministered regionally by the YMCA of Kitchener-Waterloo

Hendrix Logo

Grocery Foundation Logo