Food & Friends



Food & Friends is bringing healthy food to hungry minds.

Breakfast, morning meals, snack and lunch programs offered throughout Dufferin, Wellington County and Guelph agencies, elementary and secondary schools that 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.




Why Does Food & Friends 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 with a positive start to the day
  • Improve their learning abilities
  • Decrease disruptive behaviours in the classroom
  • Encourage positive social skills
  • Teach children healthy eating habits

 2019 Facts

  • 102 student nutrition programs served over 20,500 students.
  • 2,775,000 meals were served including breakfast, morning meals, snacks and lunches.
  • 835 adult and 975 student volunteers offered 8,470 hours of their time.
  • $1.45 provides an elementary school meal (breakfast, morning meal, lunch) and $0.90 provides a healthy snack.
  • $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.

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


Administered regionally by the YMCA of Kitchener-Waterloo


"The breakfast program at our school is the only source of healthy and nutritious food our students see in the day. The impact is our students are more alert, happier and have more energy throughout the day. The entire staff help to monitor and run the program and older students help with the weekly ordering. The staff and student input has really helped make the program so successful." Teacher