By Gord Bowes, News staff
An upcoming fundraiser could help increase the number of days the fledgling nutrition program is offered at G.L. Armstrong.
Nutrition programs don’t just help underprivileged children, notes principal Doug Trimble. People lead busy lives and sometimes meals are skipped or missed.
“There’s a tremendous need for it,” he says.
“A lot of kids don’t feel like eating when they get up. With everything that’s going on in a household, they get missed and they come to school after walking 15 or 20 minutes and they’re very hungry.”
Trimble says he notices the difference it makes in students’ temperament, which makes it easier to focus on learning.
Hamilton Partners in Nutrition gives groups 25 cents per child per snack to run programs in schools around the city, but that doesn’t cover all the costs associated with serving each child a fruit, vegetable or whole grain snack, says Kathy Archer.
Archer and other volunteers from Mountain Kidz Klub currently prepare and distribute snacks for three Mountain schools. The morning snack program helps 350 students twice a week at Armstrong, 200 at Eastmount elementary four days a week, and 225 once a week at Pavillon de la jeunesse, the French elementary school next to Sherwood high school.
Archer says she believes there is a need for breakfast programs to be established at all schools.
“There should be no question of which school gets it and which school doesn’t,” she says. “They should all have one.”
Trimble said he would like to see the one at Armstrong offered every day. Lack of funding is the primary reason schools don’t offer a snack program, he says, but a lack of volunteers is also a deterrent.
“That’s where we’re so fortunate to have Kathy,” says Trimble.
The fundraiser to help the nutrition program is being held Feb. 16 at Tracey’s Place, 592 Upper James St., from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The pancake brunch costs $8 for adults and $5 for children.
Mountain Kidz Klub is holding a penny drive to help fund the nutrition programs it runs. Donations are being accepted at the Eastmount Community Centre, 115 East 26th St., Sundays from 1-4 p.m.