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Vancouver School Board and City partner to expand meal program for vulnerable students

December 3 2015

“There is no reason that in a city as compassionate and prosperous as Vancouver, that any child should be going to school hungry," said Mayor Robertson.

Group of children on lawn

Thanks to a partnership agreement with us, the Vancouver School Board is now able to feed an additional 258 hungry children healthy lunches through their meal programs for vulnerable elementary school students.

Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer represented the City at an event this morning to launch the new partnership. 

“There is no reason that in a city as compassionate and prosperous as Vancouver, that any child should be going to school hungry," said Mayor Robertson.

“This new initiative by Vancouver City Council to invest in the School Board's healthy meal programs ensures funding is going towards those who need it the most. The Vancouver School Board is on the front lines of child poverty in Vancouver. We want to be supporting them to ensure that kids who are facing barriers at a young age have the chance to succeed.”

Our contribution expands meal program to most vulnerable 

We are contributing $320,000 annually towards the Vancouver School Board’s meal program beginning this month. These funds align with our Healthy City Strategy, in particular our goals to ensure that all children have access to healthy food.

“We know that children who are nourished learn better, so we welcome the City’s partnership to help reach more children,” says Fraser Ballantyne, Chairperson of the Vancouver Board of Education. “This partnership will expand our meals program to enable us to deliver meals to vulnerable students at an additional 18 schools.”

Last year, VSB reviewed all its food services programs, in an effort to ensure meals were being provided to the most vulnerable students in the district. Some elementary schools had hot lunch programs but meals did not always reach students with the greatest needs at schools without those programs. VSB is now using a new meal program model that distributes meals to reach more hungry students at the school they attend, and the partnership with us has extended that reach.

More than 1,250 students will be fed with our help

The VSB meal program feeds about 1,000 of the most vulnerable elementary school children. Our contribution brings that to more than 1,250. All meals meet the provincial healthy eating guidelines for school food.

“The City of Vancouver’s funds will be used, along with those of other donors, to extend meal programs to more vulnerable students at Vancouver schools,” says Scott Robinson, Superintendent of Schools. “We appreciate the City’s support, and welcome partnerships with other community organizations to help us reach even more hungry kids in Vancouver.”

Our contribution helps to provide equipment

Meals are prepared at secondary production kitchens, located in Vancouver high schools, and delivered to students in their elementary school. Our funding has provided the freezers and transportation coolers required for an additional three high schools to prepare meals. The numbers of students being reached through these meal programs is reviewed regularly, adjusted monthly based on need, and reviewed formally each year.

Recommendation to provide funding to Strathcona Community Centre Association goes to Council in December

Our  $320,000 annual investment will complement an additional $80,000 proposed for Strathcona Community Centre Association’s community breakfast program. The School Board and ourselves recognize the strength of that existing breakfast program and its ability to meet student needs in a highly vulnerable neighbourhood.

The recommendation to provide $80,000 of funding to Strathcona Community Centre Association goes to Council on December 9, 2015.

Schools where the meal program will be extended

Funding from us will enable Vancouver School Board to extend its elementary school meal program to 258 students at any of the following schools:

  • Sir Guy Carleton Community Elementary
  • Champlain Heights Community Elementary (partially funded through a private donor)
  • Sir William Grenfell Community 
  • Laura Secord Elementary
  • John Norquay Elementary
  • David Oppenheimer Elementary
  • Graham Bruce Community Elementary 
  • Renfrew Community Elementary
  • Sir Alexander Mackenzie Elementary
  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary
  • Mount Pleasant Elementary
  • Tecumseh Elementary
  • Chief Maquinna Elementary
  • George T. Cunningham Elementary
  • Sir James Douglas Elementary
  • Nootka Community Elementary
  • Dr. H.N. MacCorkindale Elementary
  • Charles Dickens Elementary

 As the numbers and locations of students change annually, this list may be adjusted to include more or less schools in order to meet the target of 258.

Schools where students will continue to receive funded meals

Schools where students continue to receive funded meals from VSB through Enhanced Services funding:

  • Lord Strathcona Community Elementary
  • Britannia Community Elementary
  • Grandview Elementary
  • Admiral Seymour Elementary
  • Queen Alexandra Elementary
  • Thunderbird Elementary
  • Sir William Macdonald Community
  • Hastings Community Elementary
  • Florence Nightingale Elementary
  • Tillicum Community Annex
  • Lord Beaconsfield Elementary
  • Captain James Cook Elementary
  • Waverley Elementary
  • Walter Moberly Elementary
  • John Henderson Elementary
  • Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary
  • Lord Roberts Elementary
  • Lord Selkirk Elementary

Sample menu

Monday  Tuesday Wednesday  Thursday  Friday 
Quiche (ham & cheese)

Carrot sticks
Apple slices
Apple Oatmeal Cake
Chicken cheese quesadilla
Celery sticks
Cantaloupe wedge Oatmeal cookie
Turkey pesto & cheese ciabatta sandwiches
Cherry tomatoes
Apple wedges crackers
Asian noodle salad w/ chicken in pita pockets

Mini cucumbers
Granola bar
Raw veg.
Orange wedges Carrot cake slice
Turkey sub
Coloured bell pepper & cucumber sticks
Yogurt tube
Power ball
W/W chicken Caesar wrap

Celery sticks
Orange wedges Cheese stick
European sausage bun

Cherry tomatoes
Sliced apples Carrot cake slice
Falafel pita pockets w/ tzatziki sauce

Orange wedges
Yogurt tube Oatmeal cookie
Pulled pork taco
w/Broccoli slaw w/ sesame Asian dressing
Orange wedges Apple Oatmeal Cake