New campaign aims to feed hungry kids so they can learn better in school
Fredericton Community Kitchens is hoping to harvest some funds for their student hunger program this fall.
"The student hunger program is filling a need," said Cassandra Blackmore, executive director of Fredericton Community Kitchens. "In 18 schools in our area, we serve an average of about 70,000 lunches a year and we also provide 3,100 backpacks of non-perishables to take home to their families over the weekend."
They work to make sure students don't have to worry about where their lunch is coming from and can focus on school.
"Some of the students experience food insecurity at home their families are living below the poverty line and being able to have access to healthy food is a challenge, some students have absentee parents that aren't providing lunches on a daily basis so some students are experiencing those issues and, some students just forget their lunch," Blackmore said.
Blackmore says the student hunger program is for anyone who is experiencing hunger at school, no questions asked.
"If you don't have food it's hard to focus and think of anything else when you're hungry that's the primary thing on your mind so to be able to learn or even behave in a classroom is very, very difficult I know if I'm hungry I'm not my best self," said Tanya McBride, a teacher at Leo Hayes High School.
McBride has been involved in the program since it started and says she can see the difference it makes.
"For some students, this may be the only meal they have. I mean, if you know you're going home and there's no food and you're expected to get up the next day and function it's very difficult," said McBride.
Fredericton Community kitchen serves about 350 school lunches a day, and offers many levels at which one can sponsor – from a single lunch to a full classroom.
"We really wanted to take an opportunity to educate the community because do not know about the student hunger program it kind of flies under the radar and we really just spend most of our time operating the program," Blackmore said.
Fredericton community kitchens will be hosting a food drive at four local supermarkets on Oct. 23.