New summer lunch program to feed hungry children

New summer lunch program to feed hungry children

in Community/Education/Health/Social Issues/Uncategorized by
New summer lunch program to feed hungry children

The Food Security Working Group, a committee of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition, will be running a pilot project in the Lindsay area centred on feeding children in the summer. The Salvation Army and the Kawartha Lakes Food Source, as part of the committee, are partnering on this project.

“This is a new and different way for us to reach out to the community,” says Heather Kirby, general manager of Kawartha Lakes Food Source, “and we are very excited to learn from this pilot.”

The Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition recognizes the gap in available food during the summer months for children who benefit from in-school meal programs. According to recent Canadian Census data, there are at least 384 children in these target areas that are below the low income measure (LIM).

The catchment areas for 2018 schools will consist of: King Albert, Queen Victoria, and St. Mary Catholic. Kirby says that they “are working with these school principals to get the word out to their students” before the summer break.

The Food Security Working Group’s goal is to make a lunch consisting of a sandwich or wrap, a fruit, vegetables, yogurt or cheese, and baked treat. Kirby says that although they are targeting these elementary schools for distribution, “no questions will be asked and any child that wants a lunch can get a lunch.”

The number of children that will access the program are expected to be between 100 and 125 each day. The program will run on Wednesdays and Fridays each week from July 4 until Aug 31 for a total of nine weeks. Between 1,800 – 2,250 lunches will be made over the course of the summer. Kirby acknowledges that this does not cover the full need in the community of feeding hungry children, but states that “without knowing the uptake of the pilot and with the financial constraints involved,” it is hard to gauge the demand. “We are here to learn,” says Kirby as this type of program hasn’t been done here before.

The Food Security Working Group is looking for support from churches, businesses, and individuals in the community to fund and assist with the program. United Way has offered initial financial support to get the pilot started. Kirby says that new volunteers are welcome and those with food handling and cooking experience would be “very helpful.” She adds that those who wish to distribute the food to the children would need to get a vulnerable sector screening with their background check.

Support can be made through a donation of cash, grocery store gift cards, or food items (as listed below). A taxable receipt will be issued for any financial donation over $10. Donations can be dropped off at Kawartha Lakes Food Source on 41 George Street West or The Salvation Army at  30 Peel Street in Lindsay. All donations of food should be dropped off on Monday or Tuesday before 4 pm to give volunteers enough time to prepare the lunches. Donations of fresh food is always welcome as well and tax receipts will be issued for over $20, according to market value.

Food items needed:

  • Apples, Bananas, Pears, Oranges, Fruit cups (unsweetened apple sauce or fruit in water)
  • Carrots, Cucumbers, Peppers
  • Cheese Strings, Yogurt Tubes, Block Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Tuna, Salmon
  • Ground Beef
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Pasta Sauce, Tomato Sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Jam

Volunteers are sought for baking on Monday mornings and for making sandwiches and/or delivering food on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Kirby says that “volunteers are needed on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 11 am for food preparation.” Distribution volunteers are needed on Wednesday and Friday between 11 am to 1:30 pm.

For more information contact Janet Rodin, the community ministries coordinator for The Salvation Army at 705-878-5331 ext. 2 or or Michelle Romanuk, volunteer coordinator for the Kawartha Lakes Food Source, at 705-324-0707 or .

Joli Scheidler-Benns is a PhD candidate in Health Policy and Equity at York University. She is a sessional professor for UOIT's Faculty of Education. She serves in a Research, Strategy, and Community Development role for The Lindsay Advocate while also serving as a Writer-at-Large.

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