Original Published on Jul 01, 2022 at 19:28

By Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Feeding our Future program hit a major milestone in 2022, serving its 250,000th lunch to Prince Albert students since it launched in 2016.

The program serves student in both the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division and Prince Albert Catholic School Division. It provides emergency lunches to all children in need, from Kindergarten through Grade 8.

The program partners include Lakeland Ford, Lakeland Hyundai, Broda Group, Lake Country Co-op, Conexus Credit Union and B&B Construction.

Prince Albert Catholic School Division education director Lorel Trumier thanked those partners for their commitment.

“I have to give credit to the organizations,” she said. “They have provided over 250,000 emergency lunches. It’s not like every child who comes to school gets one of those. It’s those who need it.”

A Catholic School Division memo shows 6,087 emergency lunches were provided for students in the division during the 2021-22 school year (from September to May). Trumier said there is no way the division would be able to meet that demand on their own.

 “When you think about 250,000 lunches in our community, we couldn’t do it without them,” she said of the community partners. “This is not funding that we receive to feed hungry children when they come to school. The fact that we have that opportunity to ensure that there is lunch, it just enhances the ability for them to learn.

“These children deserve the support and we are very grateful for these organizations to be so generous.”

On December 5, 2016, Lakeland Ford, Lakeland Hyundai, the Broda Group and Lakeland Co-op collaborated to start the initiative. Conexus Credit Union came aboard in 2019.

Together, these businesses have fulfilled an urgent need for the children of Prince Albert – providing nutrition and better allow children to learn.

In a joint press release, the two divisions also thanked the partners. Sask. Rivers School Division superintendent Cory Trann said food security impacts the community, and those negative effects can be seen at the school level.

“Each school year we’ve noticed more students coming to school without the necessary nutrition required to support healthy mental and physical growth,” Trann said in the release.

“The Feeding our Future emergency lunch program provides our students – in a dignified manner – with the same access as their peers to a healthy lunch during the school day. The impact of feeding a child on one day may seem inconsequential, but too many of our students it has a great and lasting impact on their lives, helping create strong connections to their schools, community, and learning.

“Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division is very grateful to the community-minded ‘Feeding our Future’ partners who have committed a vast amount of time, money and resources, providing daily emergency lunches for the betterment of our elementary students in Prince Albert.”

Superintendent Charity Dmytruk of the Catholic Division congratulated the Feeding our Future partners Lake Country Co-op, Broda Group, B&B Construction Group, Lakeland Ford, Lakeland Hyundai and Conexus Credit Union for providing 250,000 emergency lunches for students in need.

“Your commitment to ensuring that all children have a nutritious lunch to eat while at school is making a lasting impact on the health and well-being of our community,” Dmytruk said. “Feeding our Future is making a difference. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you from the staff and students at the Prince Albert Catholic School Division.”

Trumier also thanked all of the partners in an interview following the meeting.

This item reprinted with permission from Daily Herald, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan