District education assistant Sarah Duvall-Hannay hands out sandwiches to two students at Braefoot elementary school.

District education assistant Sarah Duvall-Hannay hands out sandwiches to two students at Braefoot elementary school.

Kids Klub seeks help to feed hungry students

Saanich-based society provides lunch support programs at 17 Greater Victoria elementary schools

A hungry child is not a happy child.

This is the inspiration behind the Vancouver Island Kids Club Centre Society’s goal of feeding hungry Greater Victoria students. Kids Klub provides elementary schools with food to give to students who are coming to class without a nutritious lunch. This allows the kids to focus on their education, and not on an empty stomach, they say.

“I think it’s a critical piece. The more that we know about kids and the way that they learn is that a constant grazing is going to help their academic performance,” said Tarj Mann, principal of Braefoot elementary school in Saanich. “We do have a number of students who come to school hungry. … If we can take that issue off of their mind, provide for them, then they’re going to be in a much better space to learn.”

Increased demand from schools this year means the Saanich-based Kids Klub is providing even more food to hungry students this year, and the charity is seeking donations to help keep up with need.

The society provides ingredients for lunch programs at 17 elementary and middle schools in the region. The program helps deliver about 3,000 lunches per month, helping out more than 400 families. Meals cost $1 each.

Compared to this time last year, the society is providing the food to make 700 more lunches per month.

“It just took up all the money we had put aside to meet the need,” said executive director Tertia Yates. “I don’t think the need is going anywhere, it’s just going to increase.”

Mann said the lunch program has been offered for at least 12 years at Braefoot, and helps to feed about six students daily – who remain totally anonymous among their classmates.

The Kids Klub Centre Society offers a variety of ways to donate, including a one-time cash donation, giving a monthly amount, or sponsoring a child for the whole school year at $20 per month. The society is a registered charity and provides tax receipts.

All money collected goes to purchase food.

Anyone interested in donating to the society can contact Yates at 250-881-1223 or at tertia@kidsklub.ca.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

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