Lotus is turning 4. We are teaching her about giving and how lucky she is to have so much and that not all kids are as lucky as she is. The Food4Kids program serving Waterloo Region has struck a cord with us.
Food4Kids Waterloo Wellington serving Waterloo Region provides nourishment to severely food insecure children who go home to homes deficient in nutritious food.
We reduce barriers to accessing healthy food, which impacts immediate, short, and long-term developmental outcomes for children and youth. Provision of food is a key prevention strategy impacting physical health, mental health and academic success, and in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Participants, 14 years and under, are referred by schools aware of children living with severe food insecurity, within their homes. The school submits a confidential student registration form. Food items are packed by Food4Kids Waterloo Wellington volunteers and delivered to schools each Friday morning. At the school, the food package is placed into the student’s own backpack helping to shield the child from any stigma, associated with receiving food assistance. Each child in the home receives their own food package.
"A grade one student, who grew up in a refugee camp (living in a tent) before coming to Canada, asks me every day, "today is food?" When I remind her it is only on Fridays, she counts how many more days she has to wait. The smile she gives knowing she will get her food bags melts my heart, every day."