In-School Food Bank

The Cause

We are requesting funds to continue an in-school food bank that we started with a United Way "Make Your Mark on Poverty" grant. Unfortunately, that $1000 grant has been used up, and we are seeking more money to keep the in-school food bank sustainable to feed hungry kids.
This application is prepared by students:
During class we learned about poverty and brainstormed lots of ideas of how we could reduce poverty with $1,000.00. We voted on the ideas and picked the best one and applied for the grant as a class. We knew it was the best because lots of kids in our school don’t have food at home and can’t bring lunch to school and are hungry. That some kids were going hungry was noticed by students and our teacher. We were concerned and decided to do something about it. Once we got the United Way money, we got a place to put the food (a cart). Then we looked online to see what grocery store had the best prices, and our teacher called them to see if we could get a deal. Save-On -Foods in Mayfield Common agreed to give us 15% off to make our money last longer so we can buy more food for students to eat. Next we made a list as a class of what kind of food students would like, and we bought the food. When the food was delivered, we met the driver and stocked the food cart. We then promoted it around the school (made posters, wrote an announcement, went class to class and told students, etc). We told students that if anyone didn’t have enough food at home, to take what they need, and that they shouldn’t be ashamed because lots of us need help at some point. CTV came to the school to see our food bank and we loaded it up again because they wanted us to show them how we did it. Our food bank has gotten a lot of use, and the school is very excited about it. It is nice for students not to have to feel embarrassed if they need food. They don’t have to ask for it. They can just go and help themselves.

Who Will it Benefit?

Many of Britannia’s families face social determinants and obstacles meeting the basic needs of themselves and their children.

Britannia School demographics:
• Social vulnerability ranking: #14 out of 198 schools
• First Nations, Metis & Inuit: 29%
• English Language Learners: 17%
• Special Needs: 22%
• Reading Level: 59% below grade level

As an educator, I see first hand the centrality of nutrition to education. If childrens’ basic needs, including nutrition, are not being met, those students will not succeed to the best of their ability academically. This directly impacts their self-esteem, current grades, and high school completion rates. It is all inter-related. This grant will allow us to come together to support not only our students, but their entire family, and in doing so we hope to achieve successful outcomes for the community.

I have witnessed significant learning and personal growth in students as this project progresses. Several students, who had previously not had the opportunity, took on leadership roles. It is clear that several students have found a cause they are passionate about. As we apply as a class for other grants in hopes of keeping “Feed the Bears” sustainable, I have been struck by how invested my students are in the process and in this project. I am asked by students daily if we’ve heard back about “that other grant we applied for” and “how much of the United Way grant money is left” for future food purchases, etc. “Feed the Bears” is an important project for the students and they have invested themselves in it and rose to the occasion of making a mark on poverty more than I could have anticipated.