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:
Ms. Lust is a teacher at a local Calgary High School. She works in a classroom tailored for students with complex mental health challenges. Each child in her class suffers from a mental health diagnoses and most are not getting their basic needs met at home – this includes food and sleep – two of the primary foundations for mental health management. Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids has been working with the school’s staff and teachers since 2014 to ensure their students are not spending the school day hungry. BB4CK provides funding to support the school lunch program and teachers like Ms. Lust use this funding to purchase food and make lunches at the school. Their efforts are entirely voluntary but they give their time and energy because they recognize the importance nutrition and food can have on a child’s health, education, and future. Here are a few impact stories Ms. Lust shared with us. She emphasized that BB4CK’s resources are used daily in her classroom with much gratitude for this resource:
Ms. Lust uses some of the funding to make a big bowl of cereal trail mix for her students to snack on throughout the day. This food has become quite a fun topic of discussion in her class. The students barter and pick out their favourite items or trade what they like the most. More importantly, this bowl of trail mix has become a tool for building friendships and community in her program – something that is particularly important for kids who have often been stigmatized because of their circumstances.
Amy is one of Ms. Lust’s students. Her home circumstances are far from ideal and she has recently received independent student status, even though she is not yet 18. Amy is a bright young leader who has faced both physical and emotional abuse in her home since she can remember. She suffers from depression, mostly due to her home circumstances. This year, she had the courage and strength to move out and gets very little money to live each month. Amy still continues to attend school, and because of the BB4CK lunch program, she has food to eat everyday. Having access to food in the classroom ensures that Amy won’t be hungry throughout the day. She is so thankful for this food. It’s one less thing Amy needs to worry about and instead she can focus on her education and graduating next year.
Another student, Jay, often arrives to school on an empty stomach and without food in his backpack. He loves the granola bars and sandwiches he has access to in the classroom. He expresses sometimes that these are the only things he eats in a day – and that he doesn’t always get dinner at home.
Shawna comes from a low-income home. Living in poverty not only means limited access to food but that often cheap, unhealthy foods are the only option. Shawna, like many other kids living in poverty, is facing physical health and dental challenges that are a result of poor nutrition. She recently had a tooth infection and because of the pain, couldn’t eat hard foods. Her family didn’t have enough money to buy special foods for her to eat so she was coming to school hungry. Ms. Lust was able to use BB4CK lunch program funding to provide her with some soup and noodles to help fill her stomach.
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