Original Published on Sep 30, 2022 at 07:10
‘How many? All of them’ – Demand exceeding supply for local breakfast club
By Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
WINGHAM – Maitland River Elementary School principal Angela Cowley is very concerned for students she says are arriving at school every day with no lunch.
The current situation with the elementary school’s breakfast club is also dire, Cowley told the Wingham Advance Times.
When asked how many kids use the breakfast club program, she responded, “All of them.”
Cowley said that it takes about $2,000 a month to fund the healthy food program at Maitland River. However, that cost will rise this year due to the increasing number of children who are not provided lunch from home for various reasons, mostly, she said, because families are struggling to keep food on the table, the increasing cost of living affecting their household income.
She said that the school holds no judgement on parents who are in this position right now. She wants them to know that the school is doing everything possible to ensure the children arriving without lunch are being looked after and that parents can reach out if they are struggling.
The steady rise in the cost of food is affecting the breakfast club program here in Wingham and elsewhere, and the increasing demand is overwhelming the supply currently available.
The Wingham branch of the Independent Motorcycle Club (IMC) has been fundraising for the breakfast club at this and several other local schools for several years, and their generosity is relied upon by the schools, even more so this year.
IMC member “Gypsy” has already begun to spread the word to organizations like the local Kinsmen Club, where he is a member. Gypsy is challenging others to reach out to organizations they are members of to help feed the children.
The IMC plans to increase its fundraising efforts this year, and they hope others become more aware of this critical issue.
Cowley said she is very grateful for the generosity of IMC and other organizations that help the breakfast club.
Breakfast Club of Canada is a grant program that partially funds Canadian schools. The organization is currently fundraising for its Back-to-School campaign.
“Until Oct. 30, the Club is rallying the efforts of generous donors in both the public and private sectors to raise funds in order to be able to provide consistent and lasting support to children across Canada who benefit from a school nutrition program. Keep an eye out at your next visit to Walmart or Costco, which are joining forces with the club.”