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Refreshing good news about feeding kids in Calgary.

No kids go hungry – Adoni

No kids go hungry – Adoni

 

BB4CK works with schools, community groups and volunteers to ensure that over 200 schools across Calgary are provided with lunch for hungry kids. These are some of our stories:

 

Adoni is a young boy attending Grade 8 at a school in Calgary. The school’s assistant, Ms. Hachtel, along with Adoni’s teachers started to notice that every day Adoni would show up to school very tired and unable to focus in class. His gym teacher commented that he was unable to keep up with the rest of the kids in gym class. Adoni was always by himself, unengaged, and barely seen during lunchtime. Out of concern, some of the teachers approached him only to discover that Adoni wasn’t eating. His family is struggling and there isn’t enough at home to send him to school with a lunch. Some days he doesn’t eat dinner either.

The next day, Adoni was invited to the office at lunchtime to receive a BB4CK lunch. When he got there, there were a bunch of their kids – some of them where his classmates and other he didn’t know – grabbing food from a bin. He was very shy at first. Ms. Hatchel invited him to grab a sandwich, he did and then immediately left the office.

Adoni started showing up to the office every day. After a few days his shyness vanished and he started to engage with his peers. He was there talking to other kids about their favorite sandwich and coming up with names for items they love, like the energy ball. “The changes we’ve seen in Adoni are amazing. He smiles when he sees any of the school staff in the hallways. He greets us first rather than us greeting him, and he is now participating in different school activities. Through the lunch, we are building confidence in kids like Adoni and letting them know people care about them,” Ms. Hatchel expresses with emotion. 

Mr. Mark, Adoni’s science teacher adds “the Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids program is allowing us to connect positively with the students. Building a trustworthy relationship that allows us to care for them the best way we can.”

 

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No kids go hungry – Kayla and Brad

No kids go hungry – Kayla and Brad

 

BB4CK works with schools, community groups and volunteers to ensure that over 200 schools across Calgary are provided with lunch for hungry kids. These are some of our stories:

 

I’d like to tell you about 9-year-old Kyla and her 7-year-old brother Brad. Kyla and Brad go to school every day with empty lunch kits. A few weeks ago, Kayla had the courage to approach one of her teachers, Ms. Stark to tell her, “we are very hungry, there is no food at home,”. Fortunately for these kids, their school is a part of the BB4CK community and lunches are delivered to the school each day. Without asking any questions, Ms. Stark listens and cares for Kayla and her brother every day while making sure they fill their bellies with a healthy lunch.

Recently, Kayla has started visiting Ms. Stark after classes are done and everyone is heading home. She asks if her and Brad can take a few of the leftover sandwiches and snacks so they can both have supper at night. “Her eyes light up whenever we send home leftovers” says Ms. Stark, “and we are always happy to do this since we know there will be another delivery tomorrow.”

 

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4,700 Hungry Kids Every School Day

4,700 Hungry Kids Every School Day

29 years ago, a group of Calgarians got together and, realizing that there were kids in their community going without food, started making lunches – a few hundred a day – and got them into the hands of kids who needed them.  

 From that inauspicious beginning has grown an incredible community – a community of hundreds of people who work in a network, making lunches all over our city and putting them in the hands of hungry kids in 224 schools every day. We call them heroes, those who give their time, money, energy, and hearts to making sure that kids they don’t know have what they need to be healthy.  

Today, as we settle into the 2019-2020 school year, we are providing a healthy lunch for 4,700 kids every school day. This number has grown every year for the past 5 years, and fortunately, this community continues to grow too. The heroes continue to show up, in ways big and small, every day – and they create a massive impact. These lunches nourish kids’ bodies, and they give them a connection to the community around them, to a caring adult who gives them the food they need, to a group of friends they can share a meal with. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some exciting ways that you can be part of this community to feed and care for hungry kids. These are opportunities to create meaning, to be part of something that has an impact far beyond one lunch or one day. Opportunities to change the lives of 4,700 kids who don’t have a lunch at school in our city, our community. 

For today, we say thank you. Thank you for showing up to feed kids who would otherwise go hungry. Thank you for noticing the need and responding to it. Thank you for taking action in a meaningful way, for using what you know and what you have to make a difference. There are 4,700 kids in our city, every day, who are grateful for it. 

Awakening Passions in Younger Generations

Awakening Passions in Younger Generations

Last month our Executive Director was invited to Prairie Waters Elementary School to speak about BB4CK with their students.

We wanted to share what one of the students wrote about Tanya’s visit:

“Tanya Koshowski the Executive Director for Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids came into our classroom, in March. She talked about what her organization does to help kids. When kids in Calgary do not have a lunch to eat their school contact BB4CK to ask them for help.

She told us a story about Lisa who did not have enough to eat. All she had was half an apple over two days! We were shocked that some kids do not have enough to eat and talked about how that can affect our learning.

During her visit, Tanya asked us the following question: “How many kids are hungry in Calgary?” We tried to guess; 500? 700? 1000? 4000? We all were surprised when she said that there are 4400 hungry children in Calgary. That is a big number of kids! We need food in order to be healthy and grow strong. Tanya explained that it is not only all about the food; it is about showing the kids that receive the lunches that someone cares about them. We think the people who make all those lunches and deliver them are amazing people!

“What is the benefit of kids receiving BB4CK lunches? Kids that are being fed show increased school participation, attendance rates, and grades, they feel better about themselves and have the energy to be kids! There is also caring and capacity created around these kids through the interaction of those providing the lunches to them in their schools.” –Brown Bagging For Calgary’s Kids website

Knowing about hungry kids helped us understand how important an organization like BB4CK is for our community.

Brown Bagging has many people who volunteer to prepare healthy lunches for kids and deliver them to all the schools in Calgary; they have 700 volunteers every week! Some of these volunteers help prepare the 2000 lunches per day at their downtown kitchen and others work in different communities preparing more lunches. BB4CK started helping kids in 1990 and now works with over 225 schools around Calgary. They help elementary, junior high and high school students.

We wanted to know why Tanya was passionate about making sure kids have food to eat. She told us that she wanted to help kids to be the best they can be. The most important message she left us was that those lunches are “Made with Love!”

We wondered how much it costs to make a lunch for one child. When Tanya told us it costs $2, we thought that was not too bad. However, when you need to make 4400 lunches is clear that it costs a lot of money, required a lot of time and people to make that many lunches every day! She also shared with us that Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids counts with the support of approximately 218 community groups that prepare lunches every day.

Tanya talked about us using our head, heart, and hands to make a difference. When you think with your head, you are trying to understand the need. When you use your heart, you are using your feelings to care for others and you use your hands to take action.

After Tanya finished talking to us about BB4CK, we decorated small brown bags that the organization will use to pack the thank you cards they give to people who support the organization.. We worked very hard and used our best colouring to thank all these people.

Tanya said there are many ways we can take action to help others using our heads, our hearts, and our hands. Beo, Imaan, and Thomas in our class decided to package breakfast for some of the students at our school who do not have breakfast at home. Our whole class decorated lunch bags to help make their day brighter!

Thank you, Tanya, for teaching us that there are kids out there who do not have enough to eat when they go to school. Thank you for helping us to think about what we can do to take action to help others.”

The article was published in the school’s blog: http://schoolblogs.rockyview.ab.ca/awakeningpassions/?p=6567

 

Volunteer Spotlight

Krystle

It’s amazing what a simple Google search can lead to. In the fall of 2018, Krystle and a group of friends were interested in donating and helping non-profit groups around Calgary. She searched the ‘ol internet and came across BB4CK. Fast forward to today and Krystle is an active and dedicated volunteer, helping as a Kitchen floater or delivering bins to schools.

“I volunteer with BB4CK because it is a great cause,” says Krystle. “It feels good to be able to help kids.”

When we asked Krystle about her favourite part about volunteering with us she said:

“My favourite part of BB4CK is being part of a group that is passionate about children and helping them to succeed. It feels so good to be able to help in any way that helps kids”

We love how volunteers find themselves as being part of a whole community that works together to make sure that all Calgary kids have a healthy lunch on their plates.

Do you want to join this community? Click here to find out how!

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