The Downtown East Side and Strathcona neigborhoods still contain some families struggling with poverty. With severe lack of income and the increasing shelter/housing costs, this means that Food Insecurity is a major issue. Many individuals or families find it impossible to achieve both safe shelter and food security at the same time, and in efforts to maintain shelter it is the food budget that is cut.
Strathcona Community Center Backpack Food Program
The primary objective of the Strathcona Community Center Backpack Food Program is to bridge the weekend gaps when school food programs are not running. School programs provide for the food needs of children during the week. This program will provide, kid friendly, nutritious snacks and meals for food insecure children (elementary schoolchildren and their siblings) over the weekend. Children from both Seymour and Strathcona Elementary Schools receive backpacks each Friday afternoon.
Inner-city children face food insecurity on a regular basis, which affects their behavior in the short term and their overall health and development in the long-term. Children who are hungry or undernourished are more likely to become sick, miss school, exhibit behavior problems, and fall behind in class. By offering a weekend food program for children, we will be able to provide many benefits including: increased ability to participate in recreation, close the gap of food insecurity over the weekend, help improve attention span and behavior during the week in school, mentoring interpersonal and communication skills to the children who received the backpacks, providing leadership and pre-employment training to youth volunteers.