BCPVPA honours Squamish Helpings Hands with Partnership Award for School Lunch Program

A couple of years ago we surveyed 316 families in Squamish:

  • 62% identified as struggling on a tight grocery budget with
  • an additional 10% regularly needing to sacrifice nutritional quality for budget and occasionally accessing food services.
  • A further 2% identified as living with extreme food insecurity

We have been operating our school lunch program for 9-10 years, since 2010. We feed approximately 90 children per day. That’s approximately 450 lunches per week, serving 7 schools in Squamish. The program makes use of some of the food that is rescued from local grocery stores. It is also possible thanks to many people in the community- including donors, parent volunteers, and the cooperation of the schools.

Over the past two years, with the support of the Whistler Blackcomb foundation we have been able to increase the nutritional value of the lunches we provide.

Together we have been able to positively affect outcomes for kids, families and community:

  • In the classroom children can be more attentive, and teachers are able to focus less on behaviour and more on learning;
  • the child who now is now getting brain food for better learning, growing and developing;
  • the families/parents of children affected by poverty and food insecurity who are constantly stressed by trying to make ends meet and make good choices for their children.
  • the community at large who benefit from healthy, happy children and families.

We aim to provide our lunches in a way that avoid stigmatizing children in need because a sense of belonging is vital to well-being.

Supporting the schools through our lunch program is our way of helping families to stay in their homes, stay in the community, and maintain health and well-being.