Upwards of 2,700 Families Receiving Support in Eastern Ontario During Covid-19.
A healthy breakfast available at school is often a vital source of nutrition for a food insecure child. In fact, some students report access to a healthy meal is among their top reasons for wanting to attend school. So with school out, a lack of access to in-school student programs pose a significant issue for many children in eastern Ontario.
Aware of the risks and the potential for added food-insecure related stress during Covid-19, organizations focused on feeding hungry children in the region are now supporting upwards of 2,700 families.
The model includes local school boards and the local United Way agencies in the Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, Russell, Leeds & Grenville, and Renfrew communities informing students and their families where and how they can access food.
Student nutrition program leads, local food banks, food distribution companies and an army of volunteers have been filling backpacks with healthy snacks and Family Food Hampers including dry goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, yogurt, and cheese donated by local producers and food distributors.
Incremental support has come from The Grocery Foundation in the form of additional funding and coupons for healthy foods, all destined to help those most in need.
"There’s a lot of gratitude and appreciation by students and their parents," says Jennifer Cuillerier, Student Nutrition Regional Manager. "Hearing ‘wow, oranges’, and ‘my kids will be so excited’, is welcome news during a time when we all need some joy."