Helping Fill a Hunger Gap in Our Community
A quick survey of the elementary schools in our Leeds and Grenville catchment area in Sept 2015, indicated over 200 JK to Grade 6 students experience a nutritional gap, meaning they don’t have enough food to meet their nutritional needs. During the school week these kids often benefit from school breakfast and/or lunch programs, but on the weekend oftentimes their families do not have enough food to meet their nutritional needs, and that is where we come in!
Starting in Dec 2015 the Weekender Program for Kids (WP4K) began partnering with St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Brockville. We provided the 16 children enrolled in the WP4K with a large baggie of food items to take home them with each Friday, to help fill their tummies over weekends. Since then, thanks to the generosity of our parishioners, our corporate and private donors, and with the help our dedicated volunteers, we have expanded the WP4K into 17 local schools, and have over 250 children enrolled. From the first 16 WP4K packages which went home on Dec 11th 2015, to March 1st 2019, we have packed and sent home over 16,000 WP4K packages.
Pictured below is an example of the contents of a WP4K baggie.
In a survey of children who were participating in a similar food program in the United States, the majority reported they found it easier to learn at school, they did not get in trouble as much, they felt cared for by their community, they felt they were helping their families, and their attendance was better at school. (Source: https://www.blessingsinabackpack.org/about/how-it-works ) What a wonderful benefits! It costs approximately $170 per school year to sponsor a child and if you would like to help us continue to bridge this nutrition gap please click here to donate.
Please note: Benson Public School (Cardinal) and Prince of Wales Elementary School (Brockville) were both WP4K partner schools before they closed.