ACTIVE PROGRAMS + pARTNERSHIPS
Our At Home Learners Student Nutrition Program launched in January 2021. It provides fresh produce and healthy snacks to school-aged children and youth living in Northumberland County who are registered in virtual learning during the pandemic.
We are focusing on all areas of the county with an emphasis on rural and remote areas. Approximately one-third of the local student population has chosen to learn at home. Unfortunately, due to capacity and logistics, their traditional Student Nutrition Program is unable to get healthy food and snacks to virtual learners. This means school-aged children who were already experiencing hunger and food insecurity are at greater risk. They also face additional barriers to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which can negatively impact their ability to learn in isolation.
Our goal is to ensure equal food access is provided to at-home student learners, thus reflecting the same level of food support that they would receive if they were physically attending school. We’re proudly partnering with The Market and Smor whose sourcing fresh food for us and Food 4 All Warehouse who is connecting us with healthy snacks. All food is picked from the Student Nutrition Guide. Food is packed and delivered by volunteers every Monday. We’re currently feeding 230 kids with several families on the waitlist.
Between April and August 2020 our Covid-19 Community Food Relief Program provided fresh food boxes and prepared meals to school-aged children and youth and their families who had been impacted by the temporary closure of school nutrition programs or who required some additional support during the first wave of the pandemic.
Through the generosity of Breakfast Club of Canada by way of Northumberland Food for Thought and Peterborough Child & Family Centres and charitable donations from community members, we were doing over 250 food deliveries each week.
Fresh food boxes were sourced and packaged by The Market & Smor. Prepared meals were made by Dockside Bistro and Food Inspired. Our business partners contributed their time, talent and space to our cause. All donations went towards food and meal purchases for children and their families.
Our program ended in September but we realize the need is still there for students who are learning from home during COVID-19. We are currently raising funds to resume the delivery of fresh food hampers to children and youth who are not physically attending school and who are not able to access their student nutrition program.
In 2015, we co-founded Cultivate Community, a community building venture that celebrates local food, drink, art and culture through collaboration, promotion and education. Cultivate Community operated as a social enterprise through our shared platform for five years. Due to its amazing growth and need for expansion it became its own incorporated non-profit organization with its own board of directors in 2020. Cultivate Community is a wonderful example of how good causes can both incubate and accelerate through a shared platform model.
Around the Table
Our annual Thanksgiving Challenge is a meaningful giving opportunity to provide individuals, couples and families in need with warm clothes, access to healthy food and increased street outreach as we head into the winter months. Around the Table invites people to give thanks by giving back by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, harvest party or social gathering in memory, honour or celebration of a loved one. Charities can register to leverage the Around the Table platform as a third party fundraiser or donors can choose a particular cause to support.