Nutrition for Learning is continuing to get healthy snacks into the hands of students despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group operated as a pop-up that brought snacks to different neighbourhoods when schools first closed in March. Now, the lower level of a Kitchener German club is one place they’ve found to pack meals for students. The group usually operates out of 150 schools in Waterloo Region, but since safety guidelines prohibit them from going in, they’re packing thousands of bags filled with healthy, non-perishable snacks at The Schwaben Club and a Cambridge warehouse.
“The need is even higher than ever before,” said Brian Banks of Nutrition For Learning. “Whether they are in school, the last thing they should worry about is I’m a little hungry and where’s my food.
“This is a totally different way than we’d normally take care of our programs, but this is a way that’s safe and everyone’s included.”
Both of the facilities are able to provide volunteers with enough room to work and to be distant from others.
Bagging stations are often sponsored by Activa, which donated enough to cover the cost of rent for a few months as well.
“All that money that you would have bough food with now has to go to other sources,” said Mary D’Alton of the Lions Club and Nutrition For Learning. “It was just a gift, a total gift, and it’s certainly going to get us through to the end of November, which is great.”
Volunteers from the Lions Club were at the Saturday event to help pack bags, and Santa even showed up to help boost spirits too.
“The generosity of this community, it really is a barn-building community,” said D’Alton. “In this case we’re feeding kids.”
Volunteers interested in helping Nutrition for Learning can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.