School Meal and Snack Program
Friends in Need Food Bank Society
The Friends in Need Food Bank Society (FIN) provides food at the beginning of each week during the school year to elementary schools, high schools and outreach/alternate programs in School District 42 (SD42) based on the needs the individual schools identify. This could be a sit-down breakfast, lunch and/or snacks prepared on-site for anywhere from 10 to 150 students per day.
In September 2016, we geared up to provide the same service, setting a budget for the 2016/2017 School Year. Grants were obtained from Walmart’s Community Giving, Pepsico Foundation Grant through Food Banks Canada, Maple Ridge Community Foundation Grant and the Kiwanis Club of Golden Ears. We also had several business and private donations, such as Maple Ridge Chrysler and fundraisers from several of the schools in District 42. At the end of the school year, June 2017, we were providing food to 17 of the 20 elementary schools, 7 outreach programs and 1 high school. More than 500 elementary students and over 300 high school students were benefitting from the program.
As of September 2020, we are delivering food to every school but two in SD42 every week during the school year, benefiting more than 2,200 students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school meal and snack programs have been altered following the necessary protocols. Thanks to a grant from Food Banks BC funded by the Province of BC, we have a refrigerated van to ensure the cold chain is maintained.
Each school year, we apply for grants and fundraise for this program. We have been successful in obtaining grants from the Maple Ridge Community Foundation and the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund. We have also been the recipient of several fundraisers, such as the Epic Home Golf Tournament, Broken Balls Golf Tournament, Envision Financial Golf Tournament, Meadow Ridge Rotary Club, Rotary Club of Haney, McDonald Realty, Knights of Columbus, CUPE Local 703, Iron Workers Local 97, Meadow Ridge School and numerous individuals. SD42 schools also support the program in their annual fundraising efforts and food drives. To support this program, please contact our program coordinator, Karen Osborne at 604-466-3663 ext. 203 or programs@FriendsNeedFood.com.
There is no reason for any of our youth to go hungry in our community.
Starfish Backpack Program
As of September 2020, we are providing 130 Starfish backpacks to school kids both in Maple Ridge (11 schools) and Pitt Meadows (4 schools).