So no little one goes hungry – Kelowna Information

Photo: Contributed

A local group wants to make sure no child goes hungry.

Statistics Canada shows one in five children in B.C. are growing up in poverty, higher than the national average.

Every day, 4,500 school children in the Central Okanagan are at risk of going to school hungry, and Kelowna’s Food for Thought program aims to change that.

Local NGO Hope for the Nations, took over operation of Kelowna’s Food for Thought program in the 2017-18 school year.

The program aims to eliminate hunger, one child at a time, by providing free breakfast in 30 schools to 1,500 school children every day, throughout the Central Okanagan.

“We know empty stomachs limit children’s ability to reach their full potential, personally, academically and socially,” said Patricia Phillips, executive director of Hope for the Nations, “We’re excited to be able to partner with the Central Okanagan Public Schools (SD 23) on this program to help support education and learning by ensuring students aren’t attending school hungry.”

The program relies heavily on public support and volunteering one hour provides 50 breakfasts. Food for Thought provides half of its food to schools through donations and reclaimed food, valued at $125,000 per year.

Reclaiming food also helps to reduce wasted food – 30-50 per cent of food that is produced is wasted – and increases access for those in need.

The rest of the needed food is purchased with funds received from grants, donations and sponsors.

Hope for the Nations received a Telus Community Grant to support Food for Thought.

Hope for the Nations is hoping to raise funds for the program through their upcoming Freeze Hunger Campaign launching Dec. 1.

The campaign will invite supporters to Freeze Hunger by sponsoring the program on a yearly, monthly, or per child basis.

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