Anglican Parish of Christ Church distributes 720 food hampers and more 4,000 meals to students and families, thanks to Emergency Community Support Fund.
The spirit of giving is more evident than ever in the face of COVID-19.
A team of volunteers from the Anglican Parish of Christ Church created the School Lunch Project, to feed students and their families who may have relied on school lunch programs for a free meal.
The idea came after the church’s monthly community dinners for the homeless had to be paused due to the pandemic. Susan Oliver, a Reverend at the Anglican Parish of Christ Church, heard that some families needed food hampers.
“I was in touch with the lady who was coordinating the Catholic school lunches and she said they were desperate for hampers,” Oliver said.
Many schools have snack or lunch programs that provide students with one nutritious helping a day. Online learning and economic challenges have put a strain on families who may not be able to afford nutritious meals.
“Kids were hungry and families in general were hungry, and this allowed us to creatively get food into family homes,” Oliver said. “The reason we didn’t just make a sandwich for one kid was that chances were, if one kid is hungry, then the whole family probably is.”
Thankfully, a $10,000 grant from the Emergency Community Support Fund distributed by Edmonton Community Foundation allowed the Anglican Parish of Christ Church to start the School Lunch Project.
“Many children from low-income families have lost an important source of nutrition, while their families may have also lost employment,” Craig Stumpf-Allen, ECF’s Director of Grants and Community Engagement, says. “With volunteers ready to help out, we were happy to be able to help support the costs of food.”
The School Lunch Project provided a hot meal that could feed a family of six. Volunteers committed to making 90 hampers a week for two months. A total of 720 hampers were distributed to four schools: St. Joseph’s High School, St. Elizabeth Seaton, St. Nicholas, and St. Francis of Assisi.
The funding was also used to ensure the church kitchen was following proper COVID-19 cleaning protocols, and enabled the purchase of take-out containers and packaging for the hampers.
The Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19.
Together, the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada are collaborating with the Government of Canada to flow ECSF support to those who need it most right now.
“We are very grateful for ECF’s generosity,” Oliver said. “The money allowed us to feed a lot of kids and give them healthy food, and ECF’s commitment to us to start this program has allowed us to see a way forward to continue feeding kids.”
Learn more about the Emergency Community Support Fund.
The Emergency Community Support Fund