2,000 students go hungry everyday – Adopt-a-School

By on March 16, 2015


MANILA — A Vancouver district report found that over 2,000 students still go hungry everyday.

This is despite the efforts of the Vancouver school district to provide food for the students.

“It’s something we have to deal with,” Christopher Richardson, school board chairman, said as quoted in a report for gbellett@vancouversun.com.

He added that the situation is critical stressing the importance of food as a major component of learning.

The report from the food services department also noted that an estimated $1.7 million will be needed to feed the children.

Richardson is calling on private sector donors and other organizations concerned to help raise the money.

According to him, the budget of the school board has been cut by $18 million and might give them no chance to have more funds for extra food services.

Organizations like Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-a-School program, meanwhile addresses the problem by providing free breakfast at 10 schools and contributing thousands of dollars in aid to Vancouver schools.

The provincial government’s Community Link also provides funds to provide meals for more than 5,000 elementary and secondary school students in Vancouver.

Starting September 2015, however,  Community Link will bring a major change in the distribution of funds.

“We want to align our resources to meet the needs of our most vulnerable students,” said Jennifer Cook, the school district’s food services supervisor.

“Let’s take a school of 200 where we have 50 vulnerable children that should not be expected to pay. We would expect the parents of the other 150 to be paying all, or close to all, the monthly costs of that program. But our data shows that in many of those schools those 150 parents pay very little and as a result we have to use a considerable amount of Community Link grants to keep those schools’ (lunch programs) open.”

“We are moving away from supporting a service at the cost of not getting to children that are the most vulnerable. We don’t want to be subsidizing what we consider to be schools of affluence,” she said.

The new distribution system will allow 26 schools to switch to the full-pay model where parents will be required to pay $80 a month.

Schools including Macdonald, Strathcona, Grandview, Seymour, Britannia, Thunderbird, Queen Alexandra, Tillicum Annex, and Hastings will be receiving a full breakfast and lunch program from the Community Link funds.

Nightingale, Selkirk, and Lord Roberts will have the option to switch to parent-paid lunch programs with some subsidy for Lunch2go, a brown-bag program.

Meanwhile, Mount Pleasant, Carleton, Brock, Livingstone, Queen Victoria Annex, Lord Roberts Annex, Selkirk Annex will opt for switching to parent-paid lunch programs and schools like Cook, Fleming, Henderson, which did not have a lunch program will be given Lunch2go.