The Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program

Contact(s)

The Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program (NFVP) provides two free servings of fruit and vegetables each week to students (JK to grade 8) from January to June. The main goal of the program is to increase the likeability of vegetables and fruit among children. The program is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and is run in partnership with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.

In 2021, nearly every school in our district with JK to Grade 8 students is taking part in the program. This includes 54 elementary and intermediate schools and over 9,500 students!

Any questions or comments about the program can be directed to nfvp@healthunit.ca.

Classroom Resources

Health Unit Resources

Other Resources

Listed below you will find a variety of resources to help teach nutrition and physical activity in the classroom. All resources are available in English and French.

Food Safety Training (Free for NFVP Volunteers)

Each school involved in the NFVP must have at least one food handler that has completed the Food Safety Training Certification course (valid for 5 years). There are three ways school staff and volunteers can get their food safety certificate:

1. Online Course with Online Exam

An online course is available through In Good Hands (English) or En Bonnes Mains (French). It can be completed in about 8 hours over a 3-month period. After finishing the course, take the online exam using a computer with a webcam and microphone.

Those who choose this option will register and pay using a personal credit card, and be reimbursed by the NFVP upon completion. Please email nfvp@healthunit.ca at the end of the course.

2. Food Safety Certificate Course with Exam (on hold due to COVID-19)

The in-person Food Safety Training Certification course is 6½ hours of content plus an exam. The course cost of $45 will be covered by the NFVP.

3. Self-Study with Proctored Exam (on hold due to COVID-19)

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has an online manual called Food Safety: A Guide for Ontario’s Food Handlers. Individuals can review the document and write a proctored exam through the Health Unit when ready. 

 For information on proctored exam dates, call: 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5400

 Evaluation Results

In 2017, students in grades 5-8 at some local schools completed a survey before the program started and at the end of the program. Here’s what we found:

  • 94% of students reported that they like to eat fruit
  • 68% of students reported that they like to eat vegetables
  • Yet, only 19% of students recorded consuming the recommended number of vegetables and fruit servings from Canada’s Food Guide
  • 90% of students were very willing or willing to try new fruit and vegetables that they’d never tried before
  • 91% of students enjoyed receiving fruit or vegetables in their classroom 2 times a week
  • Students’ preferences increased for fruit offered as part of the program

This shows that exposure to fruits and vegetables (as in the case of the NFVP) may help to increase likeability, acceptance, and consumption of these foods. 

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808