For the first time, the Mustard Seed will be providing lunches to Red Deer’s most vulnerable school children throughout the months of July and August.
“They have very little connection in the summer to connect with other students who might have food, so the need is actually greater in the summer,” said Scott Tilbury, fund development officer with The Mustard Seed in Red Deer.
The Mustard Seed has connected with 32 different schools across Red Deer, letting individuals know they would like to offer each child enrolled in the School Lunch Program an opportunity to receive a lunch in the summer.
Schools are currently in the process of confirming the number of lunches required.
“Once we receive all the results back we will identify drop off points in the city where their guardian or their mom or dad can go to pick up their lunch and provide it for them,” said Tilbury.
Tilbury added that the reason they are able to do things like this is because of the generosity of Red Deerians, organizations and grocery stores who donate to them.
“They’ve helped us lower the overall cost down to $2 per lunch, so as a result of that we’re able to expand our services,” he said.
On average, over 350 children receive lunches from the Mustard Seed. Healthy lunches include a sandwich, a vegetable, fruit, muffin and or granola bar.
In addition to providing the students with lunches in the summer, the Mustard Seed also plans to host a Cooking School for children currently enrolled in the School Lunch Program. They will learn about things like good nutrition, basic culinary skills, cooking fundamentals and more. Transportation will be provided.
“It is so important, so if they did have something that was nutritious in their home they would be empowered to identify that item and we hope that they will eat what is healthy rather than what is not.”