The Strathcona neighbourhood is vibrant, supportive and close-knit, but many of the residents experience daily challenges that may include poverty and/or low-incomes, language and cultural barriers, addictions, mental health issues and single-parenting.
All of these challenges can negatively impact household food security.
Every day, there are children who come to school without any food. Over the years, food supports such as the Strathcona Community Centre’s Breakfast Program and the Strathcona Elementary School’s Lunch Program have developed to ensure that these students have nourishment for full participation in school. However, the same hunger exists outside of school hours and many of these children don’t necessarily have a dinner to go home to.
Our purpose is to provide a daily healthy and hearty snack to the Approximately 350 children and youth in the Strathcona Community Centre’s preschool, childcare and youth programs.
The funding requested for this project will enable us to purchase ingredients so that we can continue to provide consistent, high quality, nutritious snacks to the children and youth in preschool, childcare and youth programs at the Strathcona Community Centre. The snacks will be created by existing staff and the food will be purchased through the Community Centre’s centralized food order process to minimize costs by eliminating staff shopping time and maximizing wholesale discounts and donations.
Snacks are chosen to include fruit and vegetables, fiber, protein and healthy fats. There is a lot of variety in the types of foods that we offer to encourage children and youth to try new things. Over time, we have noticed children expanding their food repertoires and growing to like some of the items that they had previously thought were “too boring or yucky.”
Examples of the snacks provided include: