May 2, 2018

Delivering Lunches with North Hill Mazda

North Hill Mazda has been supporting BB4CK by delivering lunches to Calgary kids since September of 2016. Leading the cause at North Hill is Lindsey Allen, who after learning about BB4CK through social media in 2015 was determined to get herself and her team involved. “I was really curious about BB4CK and volunteered in the kitchen in the spring of 2016. I knew right there and then that I wanted to get work involved. It took a while to figure out what we were going to do, then we heard you needed drivers and we were like “Ah ha! That’s how we can do it!” This is super easy for us. We’ve got cars.”

Each Thursday morning the members of the North Hill team drive into the BB4CK parking garage and load up a Mazda from their dealership with bins of sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and snacks for hungry Calgary kids. “It’s so easy to help. I come in early to work to do this; I quickly go grab a car and head over to BB4CK. I pull up at BB4CK, get the lunches, then drive through downtown and hit the first school (usually the same school). I go in, say hello to the office staff, switch the bins, put the empty bin in the car and continue on to the next school. We typically visit five more schools, it is usually pretty quick and everyone is grateful. We drive back to the kitchen, unload the empty bins, visit with the kitchen staff and it’s a really good time. I think it’s only like 30 km every week for us, which is not much,” says Lindsey. The kilometers have begun to help tell the story of North Hill Mazda’s volunteer experience. With each week’s route, North Hill shares great photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #KmsForBB4CK.

“The fact that some kids go without food pulls on our heartstrings – knowing the outcome of us delivering lunches, going into the schools, being physically in their world, seeing the kids, and thinking maybe that kid right there is going to get the lunch you dropped off, that’s huge,” says Lindsey.

“We support Ronald McDonald House and Kids Up Front as well and when I bring our GM causes like this, he’s like “How can we help? What do you need?” At North Hill Mazda, we try not to be your standard auto dealer. We try to be very much in the community, we’re associated with so many children’s charities because it resonates with us and it’s where we want to put our energy. We are completely committed to being in the community and helping to build the community,“ Lindsay shares. “With BB4CK, it’s hungry kids. The impact stories we hear, the change in kids, are exactly why we do this.”

May 1, 2018

Anaya and Eden

Anaya and EdenWhen Anaya was six she learned that there were kids who went to her school who didn’t have a lunch, and she felt sad. She thought about times she’d been hungry, and how someone – her parents or a teacher, perhaps – always had something to fill her stomach. It was hard for her to imagine what it would be like to be hungry all the time.

Anaya told her younger sister Eden about what she’d learned about hunger. Together with their parents, Anaya and Eden decided to do something to help. The girls gathered some money from their allowance, coming up with $18.85, and decided to give it to BB4CK. With this, they provided lunch for appx.18 kids who would’ve otherwise been hungry.

The girls didn’t stop there. At Anaya’s next birthday party, she asked guests to bring a donation to BB4CK instead of a gift. The following Valentine’s Day, the girls baked cookies & cupcakes, selling them to friends and family to raise money. It’s been three years since they got started feeding hungry kids, and Anaya and Eden show no signs of slowing down.

Together, Anaya and Eden have provided lunch for hundreds of kids who would otherwise be hungry.

This year, we invite you to match Anaya and Eden’s generosity. Please consider making a gift of $18.85 here to help ensure there are no hungry kids in our city!

April 27, 2018

BB4CK Recipe: Pea Butter Avocado Cookies

These gluten free Pea Butter Avocado Cookies from the Lean Green Bean blog are delightful! To try them for yourself you will need:

1/3 cup mashed avocado

2/3 cup peanut or pea (no nuts) butter

1 egg

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup oats

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine avocado, pea butter, egg, and honey together, mixing well.

Add oats and baking powder, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll into balls and place on baking sheet, flattening cookies slightly with a fork. Bake at 350°F for 12-14 minutes.

Check out the Lean Green Bean blog for more photos!

April 24, 2018

Lunch Is Love… Story from a N.E. Middle School

“I have worked with the Calgary Board of Education for 37 years.

It is only since Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids began that I have witnessed the amazing change in students of all ages from a simple thing like a sandwich and a snack.

There have been students hiding at lunch so nobody sees they don’t have any food; students not attend school because they have no food for snack or lunch; students (many) who steal food from other students’ backpacks when they are pretending to go to the washroom (comes down to basic survival); students who have taken food off of teacher’s desks; many students who go home knowing they will not have anything to eat until they come back to school the next day; the list could go on and on.

I had a family that the kids had to take turns eating…whoever got a lunch did not get supper, then the next day it was the other child’s turn to have lunch, but not supper, because he had supper the day before. It is so heartbreaking to actually be with these kids, see their tears, and you try to do anything you can to change their life.

On the other side of the coin… I have had mothers come to me so thankful for feeding their children (I always tell them the story of Brown Bagging and the volunteers). I would tell them that one day they would be able to help someone in need, all they have to do is pay it forward when they were able to.  They always responded that they definitely would. A lunch changes more than a hungry tummy. I have seen such changes; previous students become the mothers of present students and they always comment on what a difference the lunches made to them and how the lunches made them feel. Many have told me they donate to the food banks because they were looked after when they were hungry.  I would suggest they donate to Brown Bagging as well. This is one way we change society for the better.

Once we were able to look after their basic need of food, we began to see the change that it made in these children. The stealing stopped; the students started coming to school regularly; students who would hide and not speak to anyone transformed into well-adjusted students that socialized with other students, talked to the adults in the building, and began learning!! Teachers could not believe the difference they saw in the classroom.

Food is one of our basic needs of life and without it, there is no learning, no socialization, and it affects the confidence of students because they feel they do not fit in – they see all the other children at lunch, happy, sitting with their friends and excited about what they have in their lunch kit.  A student without any food would never put themselves in a position to be in the lunchroom around those happy students eating lunches.

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, the volunteers, and most of all the people who make it possible for Brown Bagging to exist are all unsung heroes!  You have no idea what a difference a little lunch makes to a hungry tummy. Like I said, food is such a basic need and children going to school hungry but expected to learn is a tragedy.”  – N.E. Calgary School Administrator

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No matter how big or small your contribution, each dollar you donate will provide lunch for a hungry child.

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