The deadline to complete the screening, needs assessment and submit a grant application is Friday, February 12, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.


The Toronto Board of Health recognizes that some independent schools may have a student population with a similar level of need to some public schools which offer student nutrition programs. A student nutrition program can help provide a more equitable environment for children and youth to learn and succeed. Since the 2019/20 school year, Toronto City Council approved expansion funding for student nutrition programs in eligible independent schools serving higher needs communities. This funding opportunity is intended to help offset the cost of nutritious food. If awarded, the municipal funding will cover a small portion of the student nutrition program’s costs. The remaining costs must be raised by the school/community. All available funding may not be allocated and will depend on the number of applications assessed as meeting eligibility and needs assessment criteria. Higher needs communities are defined as having a significant proportion of students living in lower income households.

Independent schools that would like to apply for first-time funding for a student nutrition program are required to complete the screening and needs assessment used to determine eligibility, in addition to an application. Eligible schools can apply and receive funding for only one of the following student nutrition programs: breakfast, morning meal, snack AM.

For the purposes of this funding opportunity an independent school is defined as a business or not-for-profit academic institution that operates independent of the Ministry of Education (i.e., not publicly funded).

To determine if an independent school is eligible to apply for funding, the school must meet the following criteria. The school must:

  • Have at least 85% of the students enrolled living in the City of Toronto;
  • Offer a full-time academic program teaching elementary and/or secondary school grades;
  • Have facilities to safely prepare and store food, in accordance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 , and;
  • Be assessed for overall level of need of the student population and agree to provide the postal codes for all students enrolled in the school to be used for this assessment.

The following programs do not meet funding criteria:

  • Lunch, afternoon snack or dinner programs
  • Programs not physically operating in the City of Toronto
  • Summer programs
  • Camps
  • Before- and after-school programs
  • Preschool programs

Please submit Part A: Screening and Needs Assessment and Part B: Application for Funding at the same time.

Part A. Screening and Needs Assessment

  1. Complete the funding criteria screening questionnaire to determine whether your school meets the preliminary funding criteria.
    Complete Screening Process
  2. If your school meets the preliminary funding criteria, you will be able to download and complete the postal code template. The postal code template is used to determine eligibility to apply for funding. Student postal codes will be used to estimate the average percentage of students who attend the school whose family lives below the after-tax low-income measure for their family type and size within the school. Schools with 23% or more students living in lower income households meet the required threshold for level of need are eligible to receive this funding opportunity. This methodology provides an objective approach to population income level assessment and is comparable to the method used to assess level of need within the public school population reported by the Ministry of Education.

Part B. Application for Funding

  • Submit a Student Nutrition Program Funding Application by Friday February 12, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.;
  • Send student nutrition program inquiries to:
    •  for food safety and/or COVID-19 related questions
    • for nutrition/menu planning, training questions
  • For support in completing the Funding Application Form, questions about whether your program meets all funding criteria, support in establishing a local program committee, questions about financial accountability and liability please contact: Toronto Foundation for Student Success: Marrisa Francisco (, 647-268-7754

Deadline for Part A & B: Friday, February 12, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.

Schools will receive a funding decision in early June 2021.