In 2022/23, the Ministry of Education and Child Care provided one-time funding to school districts across the province, called the Student and Family Affordability Fund. This funding supported a variety of school-based food and family assistance programs.
In spring 2023, the ministry announced that in the upcoming school year, they would be dedicating $71.5 million dollars per year, to be shared across the province, for the next three years, to increase school-based food security for students. This fund is referred to as the Feeding Futures School Food Programs Fund. $1.9 million dollars of this funding was allocated to SD42 to increase food security programs within all of our schools.
The Feeding Futures School Food Programs funding supports the staffing and the expenses associated with these food programs. Some programs are district based and are offered to an identified population with need; other programs are school based and are open to a larger population of students, making them more universally accessible. School programs will vary based on individual school community needs, school size, as well as infrastructure capacity.
Premium Lunch Program
This program supports (twice a week across the district) elementary school children who are in need of lunch support on a regular basis. Each school can request the number of lunches they require. Children’s names are not shared with the program manager who orders the lunches from a third-party service provider. These lunches are primarily hot in nature and provide a well-balanced, delicious meal. There is no cost for these lunches. The program has a limited capacity of approximately 340 lunches per day. If the demand exceeds the program capacity, students will be added onto a waitlist. All waitlisted students will be supported with a meal generated by their home school. Families are encouraged to connect with their school Child and Youth Care Worker, Classroom Teacher or Administrator if there is a need and they would like to be added to the waitlist.
Bagged Lunch Program
The Salvation Army provides free bagged lunches for students up to three times a week, who are identified as requiring support with lunches. Each lunch consists of a sandwich, fruit and a snack. There is no cost for this program. Families may request to have their child added to this program through their school Child and Youth Care Worker, Classroom Teacher or Administrator. Children’s names are not shared with the Salvation Army.
Universal Lunch Programs
Five of our elementary schools are currently able to offer a Universal Lunch Program. These schools include Eric Langton, Highland Park, Glenwood, Harry Hooge and Albion. Any family may order lunch at a reasonable cost up to twice weekly. All lunches are partially subsidized, making it an affordable option for families. Families who require assistance may request a full subsidy that covers the cost of the meals. The hope is to increase the number of schools that would have access to Universal Lunch Programs in the years ahead. If you are a family at one of these schools, you may contact your classroom teacher or the child and youth care worker to inquire further.
School Based Breakfast Programs
Every elementary and secondary school in the district offers support to students who need breakfast. Please see the school directory tab below for the specific programs offered at each school location.
School Based Snack Programs
Every school has a snack program. Please see the school directory tab below for the specific programs offered at each school location.
School Based Lunch Programs
All elementary schools are supported by district-based lunch programs. High schools that are better equipped to create healthy and delicious lunches provide lunch programs internally. All high schools have the capacity to provide a free lunch for any student in need. Please see the school directory tab below for the specific programs offered at each school.
PAC Hot Lunches
Most PACs in elementary school offer PAC hot lunch days, where lunches are sold at a reasonable cost. If your child would like to participate, but is unable due to financial barrier, please speak to the classroom teacher or the school child and youth care worker about a potential subsidy. Subsidies are limited, and not all schools may have the capacity to offer full subsidy due to other costs related to the operation of their school-based food programs.
Weekend Food Security
Families within SD42, may be eligible to receive support for food over the weekends when schools are closed, and meal programs are not accessible The Starfish Pack Program supports 300 packs weekly to families in elementary, high school and alternate programs. We additionally have limited support from two other food banks located in the tri-cites, that will deliver to Maple Ridge. Families are able to access support by speaking with the school administrators or the child and youth care worker at their child’s school. This program is currently at full capacity. Families are able to be added to a wait list.