For over 30 years TEOF, in conjunction with the former Toronto Board of Education, and now with the new Toronto District School Board, has sponsored and encouraged Kindergarten nutrition programs. TEOF’s mission included nurturing co-operation among teachers, trustees, and Department of Public Health nutritionists so that child nutrition programs could be expanded across the grades. Advocates for child nutrition were successful in this and today, some of the costs of school food programs are provided through the budgets of the City of Toronto and the Ontario provincial government.
TEOF was formed in 1980 under the auspices of Trustee Harold Menzies, a Toronto realtor who served as school board trustee and alderman in the former City of Toronto. In his work, Harold observed the problems of the Inner City and the need for improving educational opportunity was evident to him. He wanted to create a fund that would assist young students to stay in school and complete their education. At the same time, a local research project had demonstrated that educational opportunity could be enhanced for children if they were adequately nourished. The focus of the fund was directed to child nutrition programs in the Kindergartens of Inner City schools.
TEOF’s original mandate remains. Since the amalgamation of the school boards, TEOF has continued to subsidize many Inner City school Kindergarten nutrition programs. Based on the needs of a school, and the number of children in its Kindergartens, a subsidy is provided by TEOF to supplement the required parental contributions or fundraising efforts to the school community.