Families in Princeton and area who have children in the local school system can receive help if they need it, thanks to a government grant.
The Nicola-Similkameen School District recently received $250,000 from the province to ensure its students have sufficient food, supplies and opportunities.
“This is a hard time,” said Jane Kempston, district assistant superintendent. “It is such a hard time and the government has recognized that.”
Funds have been given to each school in the district, and those allocations were based on available data, she said.
While the exact number of dollars assigned to each school is not being released, the three Princeton schools share 24 per cent of the total, which would equal approximately $61,000.
In each school the money will go to universal food, supplies and fee support, as well as crisis food support, and each local school has drafted its own plan for spending the funds.
Kempston stressed that families should contact school officials directly if they feel they can use help. All requests will remain confidential.
At Princeton Secondary School (PSS) students will receive one free lunch per week, beginning in the new year. PSS students can also receive money to cover school feels, such as athletic fees, and money for school supplies and clothing. Anyone wishing to access those funds is asked to call or email the principal.
Vermilion Fork Elementary School (VFE) will make a food cart available outside each morning so students can select from a variety of snack foods. Parents will have the option of using grant funds to pay for regular pizza days, and students may sign up to receive a hot lunch in the study hall.
Families who may be concerned about food on the weekends can make arrangements with the school to receive a gift card for groceries, and parents are asked to contact the principal or school secretary if that is required.
Likewise VFE families are encouraged to contact the school if a child needs school supplies. Part of the grant will also go to reducing fees for school trips.
At John Allison Elementary School students can receive free nutritious lunches, if their families contact the school. The school will provide funds for winter clothing and school supplies for those who ask.
“We just want kids to be fed and well and safe and warm this year,” said Kempston.
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