“The Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids lunch program has been available to students for several years at our K-9 school. There are students who arrive at the school with little or no breakfast or snack or lunch. The school, through volunteers and the support of the school staff and programs such as Breakfast Clubs of Canada, The Boys and Girls Clubs FANS program, and Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids lunch program, provides wholesome food for the students to support them in their learning.
The Brown Bagging lunches are sought after by students of all ages.
One student of whom I am aware is a small, shy junior high school student who is reluctant to speak in class or with her classmates. She has had poor attendance in the past and does not seek out a lunch for herself out of embarrassment of her family’s financial situation. She struggles with her own self-image in which she identifies as needing to be trim, fit and thin. The school staff have advocated for her and ensure she has something to eat each day. She is beginning to select some food at noon hour by herself when she feels safe to do so. She has the opportunity to sit with a staff member and is beginning to recognize her own strengths and is becoming more aware of the need to provide fuel for her body each day. Her emerging maturity and confidence has grown in part by recognizing her own value and dignity and by nurturing and advocating for herself.
Her attendance and grades in school have improved during the past year and she has begun to talk of her aspirations for future learning and to be able to do things for herself. Having access to a noon meal each day ensures that she is a given consistent support to grow emotionally and physically and to participate fully in her community.”