Bowls of fresh fruit, rows of yogurt cups, and baked goods line a table in the multi-purpose room at Shortreed Community Elementary.
Lindsay Romas is behind the table, ready to serve students a healthy meal to help them start their day.
Romas is a youth care worker at the Aldergrove neighbourhood school. Before the morning bell she helps at the school’s breakfast club.
Every day the program, which is available to all students, provides nutritious meals and snacks.
“I know a lot of our students show up to school for various reasons having missed breakfast and having this program helps those students get ready for a full day of learning,” said Romas.
“It’s also another opportunity to connect with the students in the morning, checking in on them, and seeing them smile, of course, underneath their masks,” she added.
Shortreed’s breakfast club is one of 29 breakfast programs running in the district and supported by the Langley School District Foundation.
Out of those programs, more than a third – including Shortreed – are supported by the Breakfast Club of Canada, which is an organization providing funding to more than 3,000 programs across the country, explained Alicia Rempel, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.
“We are pleased to announce to the community that three more schools in our district will be supported by the Breakfast Club of Canada,” Rempel said. “This financial support brings our existing number of 11 schools to 14 schools supported by this organization.”
The foundation received $40,000 to help support those schools, she elaborated, crediting the funds, and consequentially the nutrition programs, with helping ensure students reach their “educational potential.”
Expansion of this program will include Douglas Park Community School, Parkside Centennial School, and Langley Meadows Community School. The support includes food deliveries, grocery vouchers, and funds to purchase a wide range of equipment and supplies, Rempel elaborated.
“It is an exciting time for these new schools. To set-up the programs, principals will be able to spend the funds on big purchases including industry grade appliances like a stove and refrigerator or smaller items such as serving utensils,” she outlined.
Did You Know? The Langley School District Foundation supports our students through initiatives like breakfast clubs, lunches, scholarships, and more. To donate, visit: https://t.co/a31WlSIPHh#MySD35Community pic.twitter.com/xNwKFBaYqV
— Langley Schools (@LangleySchools) February 14, 2022
Diana Wilk, Principal of Douglas Park Community school, chimed in.
“I am looking forward to receiving this support from the Breakfast Clubs of Canada,” she said. “As a long-time educator, I know that learning can only happen when basic needs are met.”
Wilk said food is not the only benefit for students – it’s also about community and connection.
“When you come here and see the students playing with each other, and they’re talking about what they love, and they’re eating and sharing food, you just get to see another side of them. I hope that they feel welcomed, and that they belong, and that this is a safe place where they can have food, love, and care,” said the Langley City school principal.
Our staff and volunteers already do an amazing job supporting our school community with our existing food program, especially during the pandemic. Having this additional support, will only make things so much easier to help our families,” Wilk remarked.
The additional schools receiving this support will be working with the foundation to utilize the funds in the coming weeks.
The Langley School District Foundation, feeds 1,500 students every day and more than 200 families each weekend.
It continues to fundraise and promote its Food for Thought campaign to help support food programs across the district.
To help or find out more, people can visit the foundation website at: https://lsdf.org/.
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