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November 6, 2015

At Bishop Grandin High School, lunch is teamwork

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On the lower level of Bishop Grandin High School is the Diverse Learning classroom, which serves as a learning space and a retreat for students in that program. Their teachers are devoted to these students and know them well. They can talk about everything from the kids’ academic needs and daily schedules to their personal lives—but what emerges again and again is these students’ capacity for kindness.

Two Diverse Learning students, Nicholas, 18, and Zack, 15, are devoted to helping peers. Each day, the boys help to pack and distribute lunches to students who would otherwise go without.

Lunches ready to be picked up. “We make a connection with every student that receives a lunch,” says Bishop Grandin’s Diverse Learning Teacher. “They may be  shy on the first day but that [goes] away very quickly.”

A peer-to-peer program

The program is a collaboration between Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, the diverse learning students, the guidance office, homeroom teachers and the school’s Culinary Arts Program. It also depends on word-of-mouth. “Students bring their peers here,” says Nicholas and Zack’s teacher. “It’s a very safe place [the students] have created.”

The students’ participation is integrated with the Alberta curriculum as a component of the Health and Life Skills program of study. To prepare and provide lunches, maintain high hygiene standards and account for allergies is no small responsibility.

Culinary Arts

Some Diverse Learning students are also taking Culinary Arts, a program run by chef Scott, who spent more than twenty years in professional kitchens before pursuing his teaching degree. When he arrived at the school five years ago, he oversaw the installation of a commercial kitchen just up the hall from the Diverse Learning classroom.

Culinary Arts teacher Scott (right) with student Mat, 17.

Scott’s students, dressed in chef’s whites, plan menus, calculate margins, prepare meals from scratch and sell them each day in the cafeteria. They also help to prepare the brown bag lunches that Nicholas and Zack distribute.

A cooperative effort

Bishop Grandin teachers have been cooperating to provide meals for students since Scott arrived at the school five years ago and learned there were students in need. “When they’re thinking about their stomachs they’re not thinking about school,” he says.

Many students go from the Culinary Arts program to the Professional Cooking program at SAIT.

The Diverse Learning teachers say they make a connection with every student who accesses the lunch program, and every student says thank you. “It’s not a free lunch, it’s a provided lunch. It’s an entirely different relationship from saying, ‘Let me buy you lunch.’”

Making lunches provides an excellent learning opportunity and necessary community-support, but to Nicholas the benefits are more personal. “It feels good to help someone who doesn’t have a lunch.”

November 6, 2015

Delivery! Follow a sandwich on its way to a Calgary kid


Once made, how do lunches travel from the BB4CK kitchen to Calgary kids? Find out in our new video! Follow a sandwich as it is created and packed by volunteers in our kitchen then delivered to a ‪Calgary school. Cathy, our Lead Driver, shares a morning delivering lunches from the kitchen to kids across our city.

Would you like to help deliver lunches? Learn more about volunteering with us!

November 6, 2015

20,000 lunches — meet the ladies of Chartwell Harbours Retirement Residence

Meet the amazing group of ladies from the Chartwell Harbours community group who come together two mornings a week to make lunches for kids in their community. Since 2012 this group has created nearly 20,000 lunches!  Learn more about this amazing community group here.

November 6, 2015

This holiday season, give the gift of lunch

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As the holiday season approaches, give a heartfelt gift to the people in your life while making a difference in the lives of Calgary kids. Share a gift that enables a child to be hungry for learning, not food; a gift that brings energy, self-confidence and freedom—delivered each school day in a lunch bag.

This year BB4CK invites you to explore our holiday gifts — a selection of items that can be purchased by donation to honour the special people in your life. Will you provide lunches to a kid for a month? Vegetables for the kitchen? There are many different opportunities to give.

Your holiday shopping can be completed in one easy step, and will have a life-changing impact for kids in Calgary.

After you choose your gift, you’ll receive a holiday e-card to share with your gift recipient explaining how the gift helps to ensure that Calgary kids who would otherwise go without will receive healthy lunches at school.

Our holiday gift page officially launches next week. Take a peek at the VIP preview and get a head start on your holiday shopping here.

Your generosity will make a wonderful gift, both for someone you care about and for a kid in Calgary. Thank you.

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This year…

3,200

Kids Impacted Daily

625

People Volunteering Weekly

1500

Partners and Donors