While the cruelty of this pandemic needs no describing, what should be described is the effect the indefinite suspension of school will have on impoverished children. Holidays for the children of working or middle class families are times to look forward to — a nice break. But for the poor child, holidays are bleak times — times of uncertainty, hunger, and greater privation than when school is in and they can at least be fed and helped.
For the unfortunate victims who catch the virus, medical help is being mobilized. But what of the other victims: the impoverished families relying on food being available at school to feed their children? The Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-a-School (AAS) program was feeding thousands of those children in many schools across the province, but now that food supply has been cut off. With the pandemic closing schools, there will be no breakfast and lunch to keep these children going. Concerned staff in many school districts are considering how best to help their most vulnerable children and families for whom access to food is imperative.
With this in mind, The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Society’s board — which administers the decade-old AAS initiative — will liquidate $100,000 from an emergency fund to be used to assist these new programs. We will also be continuing our Adopt-a-School campaign for as long as necessary and are asking readers to join us in mitigating the hunger of impoverished children which must inevitably follow the closing of schools.
“We have asked for your help in the past and it hasn’t been denied,” said Harold Munro, editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Sun/Province and board chair of The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Society.
“Our readers’ generosity feeds thousands of children each year. We never expected that a pandemic would turn our lives upside down but it has. What is happening is affecting everyone on the planet but we must get through it together. We will all suffer but the poor will suffer most, as they always do. Please, if you can, help us respond. This is beyond a crisis.”
Please stay safe, and look out for your neighbour.
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