Published July 25, 2016 15:39
The Boys and Girls Clubs (BGC) of Winnipeg have partnered with Sodexo Canada once again to provide kids with the nutrition necessary to spend summer engaged in different activities with their friends.
The end of the school year means the end of school lunch programs, leaving many kids around the country without easy access to food.
This year marks the eighth time BGC is receiving help from Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation summer lunch program that delivers 150 meals weekly to each location. The program kicked off on July 5, and it lasts for seven weeks, approximately when kids are going back to school.
"Having this program allows kids to have a good meal at least once a week," program director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg Michelle Schmidt said.
Sodexo Winnipeg has been delivering 150 lunches each weekday to various locations throughout Winnipeg.
"We try to get at the root causes of hunger in Canada, and we strive to provide nutritious meals to help (children’s) brain power. Without the proper nutrition, their brains can’t function as well. We look after the kids so that they can progress well in school and go back to school being able to continue to learn," Cherry Ann Chandler, resident district management for corporate services Sodexo Canada in Winnipeg, said.
Schmidt stressed how hard it is for them, as a non-profitable charity, to provide meals for children every day, especially during summer when the demand for food increases.
"It’s a huge help for us. As a charity we are always looking for ways to stretch our dollar, and having a community partner like Sodexo helps kids in having access to a basic need like food, and it helps us to work in partnership," she said.
"We can’t do the work in isolation. We need community partners, so it warms our hearts to know that they are willing to do that."
One in six children in Canada won’t have enough food at home to feed them, according to Household Food Insecurity in Canada 2014, published by researchers at the University of Toronto.
However, Schmidt said this program doesn’t only help with the physical needs. It teaches them what giving is and how they can help out in the future.
"They think about ‘How can I be generous with the little that I have?’ It also helps the kids to think about being a member of the community and what that looks like."