Nine non-profits will receive $3 million to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The non-profit organizations, which will each receive $300,000 or $375,000, have extensive experience serving their communities in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.
This $3 million in new funding is in addition to $15.5 million for the school nutrition program. School boards are encouraged to find innovative ways to provide meals or food to students while in-school classes are cancelled.
“Ensuring our students do not go hungry while in-person classes are cancelled is of the utmost importance. We are giving non-profits and school boards the funds and flexibility to find solutions to provide meals or food for students as they learn at home. I commend their efforts to meet students’ needs during this challenging time.” Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Some school authorities have developed ways to continue providing food assistance, and many others are planning for alternative arrangements. Those who are unable to continue their school nutrition program must direct their remaining funds to non-profits able to serve vulnerable students in their communities during this pandemic.
“Alberta School Councils’ Association is pleased to see that students in need will continue to receive nutrition support while learning at home. Families will be relieved to know funding will go to local school boards and non-profits in their communities, to best address vulnerable students during this pandemic.” Allison Pike, executive director, Alberta School Councils’ Association
“These significant dollars allow us to provide supplementary food packages to the most food insecure families we have been supporting during this school year. The flexibility associated with these funds strengthens our ability to significantly impact monthly the food security of some of our partner schools’ most vulnerable students and families during these unprecedented times.” Barb Spencer, CEO, e4c
Non-profits receiving funding
e4c – Edmonton: $375,000
Hope Mission – Edmonton and area: $375,000
Calgary Meals on Wheels: $375,000
Brown Bagging for Calgary: $375,000
Breakfast Club of Canada – Fort McMurray and area: $300,000
Salvation Army – Grande Prairie and area: $300,000
Lethbridge Food Bank: $300,000
Medicine Hat and District Food Bank: $300,000
The Mustard Seed Red Deer – Central Alberta: $300,000
Alberta suspended in-school classes indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 15, based on the recommendations of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
Funding to school authorities for the nutrition program for the 2019-20 school year is $15.5 million.
On Nov. 28, 2019, the Alberta government announced a $3 million grant for non-profits to help deliver the school nutrition program. This comes in addition to the $15.5 million already allotted for the 2019-20 nutrition program.
About 40,000 students received a daily nutritious meal through the school nutrition program in about 450 schools during the first part of the 2019-20 school year.
There are 62 public, separate and Francophone school authorities that received funding for this program.
Thirty-seven of the 62 school boards participating in the school nutrition program have been collaborating with community partners and non-profits prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance social distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.
Provincial Press Release April 2, 2020 @ 12:00 PM