Student Hunger Program Expands to Salisbury
For Immediate Release
Sandy Kitchen-Brewer & Lindsay Corey Brewer Foundation
Student Hunger Program
“That every school aged child in New Brunswick attends school well-nourished and ready to learn.”
What if NO child in New Brunswick went hungry? What if every child knew that when they attend school they would be welcomed with a nutritious meal? On February 28th, 2019 a partnership between the Brewer Foundation, JMA Armstrong High School, Salisbury Middle School and the Salisbury Helping Hands Food Bank is working to achieve this. Together they have collaborated to establish a five day per week breakfast and lunch program supporting 40-60 students, grades 5-12. The Brewer Foundation has made a three year $75,000 commitment to support the work currently carried out by local Salisbury partners.
There are many reasons why children come to school hungry. “We need a strong partnership of family, school, and community to promote the growth and healthy development of our New Brunswick children,” said Sandy Kitchen- Brewer of the Foundation. Nutrition is necessary for healthy growth and learning. Research indicates that one meal a day improves student behaviour and attitude, reduces absenteeism and improves the ability to stay on task and academic achievement. “Currently, 4% of our students report food insecurity, this means moderate to severe hunger- We have parents who report not being able to send their kids to school due to the lack of food at home. Now our students do not have to worry about food and can focus on learning,” said Tammy Constantine school principal and president of Helping Hands Food Bank.
Student hunger in New Brunswick is a province-wide epidemic. The New Brunswick Health Council estimates that 1 in 5 New Brunswick children live in poverty. Community involvement is essential to eliminate this problem. The Brewer Foundation is committed to working with service providers around the province who are dedicated to eliminating student food insecurity.
“Our school community is over whelmed by the generosity of the foundation. We are not able to raise the amount of funds needed to support the number of students who need feeding in our school each day. As a result of the partnerships, no student will be hungry during the school day and we can provide breakfast and lunch 5 days a week,” said Mrs. Constantine.
The Foundation’s Provincial strategy to eliminate food insecurity for students has already been launched with initiatives in Fredericton, Oromocto, Sackville and now Salisbury. Discussions are ongoing in Moncton, Saint John, and Blacks Harbour. “Our hope is, this is just the beginning. We are asking people to take a stand and a first step toward creating sustainable community solutions to eliminate student hunger,” said Earl Brewer.