The Greater Victoria School District is providing approximately 10,000 meals weekly to families in need. With the help of local community partners, the school district continues to offer food service programs to vulnerable students and families.
“These are incredibly challenging times for our community, and we know that many of our families are struggling with food security in addition to all the other social, emotional and financial pressures. We want to do everything we can to ease that burden,” said Board Chair Jordan Watters. “Our staff and local partners have ramped up their efforts to ensure full continuity of our food service program. Adequate nutrition is necessary to support positive education and health outcomes, and we are committed to supporting our families in this way.”
The school-based lunch program now extends into the homes of families that have been identified as the most in need. Distribution zone hubs have been set up in schools across Greater Victoria, where a designate family member can pick up meals each week at specific school sites.
The meals are provided through the Ministry of Education Community Link Funding, the school district’s partnership with the Food Share Network and local restaurant businesses, and funding from the Victoria Foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund. The food distribution program is currently providing meals to 1,000 families per week.
“We have been very fortunate to receive generous donations through the Rapid Relief Fund,” said Superintendent Shelley Green. “We are extremely grateful for all the donations and the efforts put forward by the Victoria Foundation, Times Colonist and the Jawl family, who are helping us put delicious and nutritious meals on the tables for families.”
“It’s inspiring to see how the generosity of residents in our region is so quickly being turned into on-the-ground support for those who need it most right now,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “To have the school district step up and help out in this way is something we’re proud to support.”
The plan is to expand this service as food and funds become available and to include fresh produce in the near future.