Over 4500 children in the Central Okanagan live in a food insecure home and often go to school hungry.
Local project, Food for Thought, is working to change that statistic. The project, headed by NGO, Hope for the Nations, has been in operation since 2009, and recently received support for a new program currently being piloted in Kelowna.
Studies have proven that a hungry child us more likely to act out and less likely to achieve their goals. The Breakfast Program feeds over 1600 children in the Central Okanagan who would otherwise go without food. By providing a healthy and nutritious breakfast, local schools have seen a decrease in behavioral problems, increased academic performance, and a stronger sense of community.
Taking their work a step further, in 2017 Food for Thought piloted a new Backpack Program. Backpacks filled with food are given to students for the weekends who would normally go without. This program ensures children in need are still getting food throughout the weekend.
As Food for Thought expands the Backpack Program into more schools, they require funding to continue successful operation throughout the school year. The Rotary Club of the Kelowna Sunrise generously donated $9,250.00 to help support the program as part of Hope for the Nations’ BRIGHT Christmas Campaign, which aims to raise money for educational initiatives around the world.
“After seeing the positive impact our weekend backpack program continues to have on children and families in our community, we are so grateful to the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise for making expanding into a second school a reality,” said Patricia Phillips, executive director of Hope for the Nations. “Knowing more children who may have otherwise gone without, will be taking home a backpack full of healthy food choices is truly a gift.”
For those looking to help support Food for Thought and the new Backpack Program in Kelowna, donations are being accepted here rise.hopeforthenations.com/campaigns/canada-food-for-thought
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