Throughout the school year, there is a large number of volunteers and organizations which make the Food for Thought Program possible. Food for Thought is a non-profit program that provides food for hungry schoolchildren. It is a program that partners Rocky View Schools with local groups to promote healthy eating and provide food for students.
Back in 2002 Carol and Bernie Kowlachuk realized that schoolchildren were going hungry and they said, "This isn't right. And how can kids learn if they're hungry?" hence the Food for Thought Program was born which provides, breakfast, lunch, and snacks in schools so that no child ever goes hungry.
Of course, the pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the program when schools were closed for periods of time and the funding for the Food for Thought Program was not utilized in its usual form.
NIkki Demyen, Community Partner Program Coordinator explains, “The funding from national and provincial and community people was amazing and it allowed us to get creative with how we disperse and provided the food and how we offered it.”
Rocky View Schools has creatively redistributed the funds to ensure they do not sit idle. Examples include:
• Donating $5,000 each to local food banks in Cochrane, Airdrie, and Chestermere early in the pandemic to address the increased need.
• Donating $2,000 to stock the Cochrane Community Food Shed, which was built by RVS students in the Building Futures program in partnership with the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area, Kingsmith Builders, and Big Hill Electrical Services.
• Providing mini-fridges and $1,000 each to the RVS Community Learning Centres in Cochrane, Airdrie, and Chestermere to store non-perishable, pre-packaged food items for students in need.
• Purchasing a new commercial refrigerator to replace an aging fridge at the Airdrie Food Bank.
• Providing coupons for free eggs to families and food banks.
• Donating another $5,000 to food banks in Cochrane, Airdrie, and Chestermere to offer food support to families during summer 2021.
Superintendent of Schools, Greg Luterbach says, "All families have been impacted by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, some of which can impact children’s learning. By repurposing these funds to help partners in our school communities, we are ensuring local resources remain available to those in need."