More than 6,000 healthy food packs will be available to central Okanagan children in need thanks to Food Banks Canada’s After the Bell Program.
The program is a countrywide initiative that aims to replace meals children were served at school after the school year comes to an end.
Across the country, Food Banks Canada sponsors the project, and more than 1,000 volunteers packed 100,000 nutritious, child-friendly packs in May. The packs include shelf-stable items such as oatmeal, cereal, raisins and peanut-free spread.
The packs were then sent to food banks across the country, including the Central Okanagan Food Bank, for distribution to school-aged children. Local food banks supplement the packs with fresh fruit, vegetables and other items thanks to a grant from Food Banks Canada.
“Childhood hunger is real,” said Tamie Williams, communications officer for the Central Okanagan Food Bank.
“We are very grateful to have these healthy food packs for children who face food insecurity in Kelowna and West Kelowna.”
According to Food Banks Canada, 35 per cent of those relying on food banks nationally are children, yet they represent only 20 per cent of the population.
The distribution of After the Bell summer food packs continues through the end of August.