Regina Food Bank launched a new School Food Program to improve food security and attendance.
The Food Bank has partnered with the Regina Public Schools, Regina Catholic Schools, and the Mother Teresa Middle School to offer the program. They have also partnered with AGT Foods, which has committed to a three-year partnership, providing $75,000 in food, and Knight Automotive Group has achieved $60,000 through a one-year partnership.
Currently, 43 per cent of Regina Food Bank users are children, and one in eight kids in Saskatchewan experiences food insecurity. The School Food Program is designed to complement existing food supports and address gaps that cause hunger.
CEO of the Regina Food Bank, John Bailey, said that to start the program will be offered to six schools and feed 902 students and their families.
“We want to make sure that kids get the food they need. This allows us to meet kids and families where they are and save them a trip to the food bank or save them waiting for delivers,” he said. “It’s an incredible opportunity to do that, and we just think the connection that kids have with here schools is such a powerful enable of us getting food to folks who need it when and where they need it.”
Looking forward, Bailey said that they aim to feed over 2,000 students year-round. A number represents a significant investment in combatting childhood food insecurity enabled through a community partnership model.
It accelerates a successful pilot with Albert Community School and Scott Collegiate in 2021, which saw hundreds of students receive food hampers through the summer and this school year.