Summer months can be challenging for food banks

By Brady Lang
July 11, 2018 - 5:00pm

Food Banks Canada and the Battlefords and District Food and Resource Centre are making sure kids don’t go hungry this summer.

The programs together, are putting on the “After the Bell” program. This program is offering children food bags — a lot like their school lunch programs — to ensure that no kid goes unfed over the summer months. This allows young people to take home food to fill the gaps when other food supports aren’t necessarily available.

Erin Katerynych, executive director of the Battlefords District Food and Resource Centre, went more in depth when speaking to battlefordsNOW.

“It’s in partnership with Food Banks Canada,” she said. “During the school year, the schools have lunch programs and we have a Food for Kids backpack program where kids on the weekend can take food home if they have food insecurity issues in their house hold, but that stops when school stops.”

The bags are available throughout the city, where an employee from the City of North Battleford goes out and distributes the bags throughout North Battleford.

“There are supervised parks all around town,” Katerynych said about where to find them. “We are handing out bags of food to the children there who may come from food insecure households so we can continue the program all summer to make sure these kids are not going without food.”

This may seem a lot like their school lunch programs, but it has one large difference.

“We’re buying fresh produce for it, that’s different than our regular one,” Katerynych said. “During the school year we don’t normally put the fresh fruits and vegetables in it like we’re doing for the summer. We got funding from food banks Canada to go ahead with that.”

The program has been excelling in the city, which Katerynych is extremely pleased to happen.

“In North Battleford, in May, we handed out a lot of hampers,” she said. “We helped out over 1,400 children, and that’s more than 50 per cent of our clientele in the month. There’s definitely a need and we’re making sure these children don’t go hungry through the summer."


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