Over 30% of elementary students and over 60% of secondary students in Canada go to school undernourished.
$5 is required per child for a lunch program, according to a recent study by the Alberta Government.
In 2016 within Grande Prairie Public and Catholic schools, the snack program totaled $108,000 in funding.
One school in Sexsmith operates a fruit bowl program which costs $200 per week for 40 weeks during the school year – this school has 400 students. The principal shops once a week, picking up 40 pounds of bananas, 80 – 100 pounds of apples, and then about 50 pounds of small oranges (clementines, tangelos, or mandarins, because they are easy to peel) or pears. They also usually have about 15 pounds of kiwis.
We have one little girl in Kindergarten who routinely doesn't have enough food for the day. She uses the fruit bowl at least three times a day. She won't accept anything else (sandwiches, etc), but fruit's okay. She regularly tells her teacher that she's hungry at the end of the day, and there's nothing for her to eat at home until supper-time, so we send her home with an apple.
We have a family who regularly runs out of money before payday. Our lunch program provides them with a sandwich and granola bar; the fruit program makes sure they have snacks that look like the other kids.
There are lots who don't have enough food… One little guy breaks my heart. Single mom who has her own struggles. Her son hides food in his desk so he'll have something to take home, or eat later. Even though he's welcome to use the snack fridge, etc he's already developing the mentality that there won't be enough. :(