More students will be getting lunch this year as a partnership between the Salmon Arm Rotary Club and Askew’s Foods expands.
In October 2014, the service club and Askew’s launched a school lunch program for children in need of daily lunch assistance at elementary schools.
The program provided assistance to children from Falkland, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Silver Creek, Sorrento and Sicamous.
Now the program will not only continue but funds have been secured to include high schools in Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Enderby for the coming year.
The idea grew from club member Kari Wilkinson’s request for $250 to support a PAC Hot Lunch program after noticing the number of children who could not afford to participate in the program.
The lunch program served approximately 250 to 275 children on a daily basis from October through June.
Kids were provided healthy foods including cheese, fruit, vegetables, granola bars, sandwiches, juice, and milk.
Organizers in each school are responsible for shopping for their own lunch ingredients and distribution within the school.
“The positive outcomes from this program included improved attendance, and students more focused and ready to learn as a result of not being hungry,” says Wilkinson. “Anxiety levels decreased around food security, and a positive change in behaviour was noted in vulnerable students.”
Wilkinson says there was also no stress or stigma for students to get the lunch support needed as items were made available to all children in need, including those who might just have left their lunch at home.
As Rotary Lunch Program co-ordinator, Wilkinson is thrilled the program will not only continue but funds have been secured to include high schools in Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Enderby for the coming year.
To help raise the funds, the Salmon Arm Rotary Club will be raffling off a three-minute Askew’s Foods Shopping Spree again this fall.
Corporate partners are also welcome to sponsor the program. For more information, contact Kari Wilkinson, 250-832-8261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.