Help Keep Tummies Full All Weekend Long
Our Idea is to provide 2160 days of food for hungry children. We will give bags of food ("Weekenders") for at risk children in inner city elementary schools to take home on the weekends.
One of the saddest realities of our society is that there are children who do not have enough to eat. While school based nutrition programs and community based food security programs work hard to turn this tragedy around, many children still experience hunger in the "in between" times when school based programs aren't running and the next food bank pickup is still a few days away.
In September 2021 we began a program to provide Weekenders to children at 2 inner city elementary schools. The school's social worker identifies the children who would benefit most, and we supply and pack Weekenders for 30 children in each school for a total of 60 children.
We currently have funding for this program for the 2021/2022 school year. We would like to continue this program in the 2022/2023 school year and are looking for funding for August - December of 2022. Your grant will provide 1080 Weekender bags, each bag with enough food for 2 days, for a total of 2160 days of food for hungry children.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Edmonton Central Council is a registered charity that has been serving the disadvantaged in the Capital Region of Alberta since 2000.
Our mandate is to serve and minister to all those in need, regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or any other social delineation; and to promote their dignity by serving with love, respect, justice and joy and without judgment.
In Edmonton, our organization runs exclusively on the energy and labour of over 600 volunteers. Our financial support comes from donations, the proceeds of periodic charity sales and funding from community-minded organizations and charitable donors. We are part of a worldwide movement that currently operates in 155 countries with over 800,000 volunteers. We offer short term relief and a "hand up" towards a better life.
We provide those living in poverty with emergency goods needed for basic daily living such as beds, bedding, table and chairs, kitchenware, emergency food and grocery cards, delivering what they need directly to them. We visit clients in their homes, often helping them access other programs and services. We assist them with bus tickets, bus passes and gas cards in order for them to get to a job interview, medical appointment, work school, or the food bank.
Who Will it Benefit?
There are several existing programs that fill a crucial need by feeding children breakfast or lunch in inner city schools. Our research indicates that at least 4750 lunches are served in schools in the inner city and north-east areas of Edmonton. While these programs fill tummies and help parents who can't afford healthy or sufficient food on school days, they don't continue over the weekend. Unfortunately, the hunger does.
Our Idea will benefit not only the children who will have more to eat than they otherwise would, but also their families. Parents and caregivers who have a difficult time putting enough food on the table feel an enormous amount of stress and guilt, which in turn saps their energy, affects their mental and physical health and makes other life decisions difficult to make.
We know that our Weekender program fills a gap. One of the social workers told us that not only has it helped families that are struggling, but also that the children like the instant oatmeal we provide because it makes their tummies full.