The deadline to complete the screening, needs assessment and submit a grant application is October 23, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.


Toronto City Council approved expansion funding for student nutrition programs in eligible independent schools serving higher needs communities for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 school years. Higher needs communities are defined as having a significant proportion of students living in lower income households.

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.

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.

Independent schools that would like to apply for funding for a new student nutrition program will first be assessed for eligibility before being invited to apply. Eligible schools can apply and receive funding for only one student nutrition program.

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 (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;

  • Physically operate in the City of Toronto;
  • 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:

  • Summer programs
  • Camps
  • Before- and after-school programs
  • Preschool programs

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 and will be invited to apply.  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.
  3. All independent schools that have completed Part A will be notified of their results.
  4. Schools that are assessed as serving higher needs communities will be confirmed as eligible to apply for a student nutrition program grant.

Part B. Application for Funding

Deadline: Friday, October 23, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

    • Submit a Student Nutrition Program Grant Application by Friday, October 23, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.;
    • Consult with a Toronto Public Health Registered Dietitian about the program menu, and;
    • Consult with a Public Health Inspector to ensure the site has the required facilities.
    • For support in completing the Grant 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: David Cross, (, 416-797-1013

Schools will receive a funding decision in early December, 2020.