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School milk
rebate program
in Canada

Providing ongoing funding to ensure all
Ontario children have equal opportunity to access milk


Ontario, Canada

Number of children


Age range

4-18 years



Program overview

A partnership between Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Student Nutrition Ontario to provide ongoing funding throughout the school year to ensure all Ontario children have equal opportunity to access milk. 

Through the program, Dairy Farmers of Ontario will help children access 5,000,000 servings of milk in schools across the province during the 2020-21 school year.

The launch follows a study in the Canadian Journal of Public Health that found only 22 per cent of Grade 5 students consume “high-quality” diets with optimal levels of protein, calcium and other vital nutrients milk offers in abundance.

Type of products

Individual milk servings

Stakeholder engaged

School boards, school staff/administration, parents & students

Additional details

Student Nutrition Ontario is made up of representatives from 14 lead agencies who administer provincial grant funds. These funds help develop and implement healthy breakfasts and snacks and, at times, lunch programs across the province. A meal from Student Nutrition Ontario is defined as containing the following items at every meal:

  • one serving of vegetables and/or fruit
  • one serving of milk
  • one serving of grain products or meat or alternative

In 2020, Dairy Farmers of Ontario provided up to $500,000 to Student Nutrition Ontario, giving back a 10-cent donation for every purchased unit of milk.


Dairy Farmers of Ontario
Student Nutrition Ontario

Monitoring & impact

  • 2019/2020 – 839,849 students and 1,629,787 milk servings*
  • Student Nutrition Ontario provides proof of purchase for every milk serving claimed. DFO provides a rebate of 10 cents ($0.10) per serving of milk provided to students in Ontario schools by SNO.

*As of March 2020, due to COVID-19, all schools were closed for in-class learning as mandated by the program, which halted the program for that school year.

Dietary guidelines

Canada's first food guide, the Official Food Rules, was published in July 1942. Since 1942, the food guide has been revised many times, most recently in 2019.

Canada’s Food Guide is used as an education and policy tool to promote healthy eating. For decades, the food guide has been widely integrated, providing a consistent, science-based foundation for healthy eating policies and programs across Canada. There is no single official body responsible for the implementation of the Food Based Dietary Guidelines. Canada’s Food Guide is implemented through policies and programs by various organizations and all levels of government, such as the provincial and territorial governments, health professional associations and non-governmental organizations. There is no official implementation plan.

IDF provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and other information on a whole range of topics relevant to the dairy sector.