How Second Harvest’s partners are nourishing young minds in the summer  

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Community, Food Waste, Hunger Relief

For many children, summer is the most exciting time of the year. However, for families struggling with food insecurity, it becomes a season of increased stress and difficult choices. Without access to the student nutrition program, parents often find themselves stretching already tight budgets to provide additional meals at home. 

Luckily, many organizations that Second Harvest supports have stepped up to fill this critical gap, working hand-in-hand with community partners to ensure no child goes hungry all year round, including the summer months.  

Let’s take a closer look at what some of our partners are doing to make summer the best season for children and youth across the country. 

Boys and Girls Club Sarnia-Lambton 

The Boys and Girls Club Sarnia-Lambton offers a wide variety of programs for children and youth aged 4-18 in Sarnia and the surrounding county, including after-school programs, summer day camps, and specialized initiatives like S.T.E.A.M Ahead and Kid Food Nation.  

This boys and girls club runs their summer camp in three locations, serving 120 campers per day. Children and their families can also access food without barrier when they participate in the program, which includes weekly field trips and recreational activities to improve essential life skills and knowledge of personal health and nutrition.  

The food rescues we receive all go back to our families to promote food security and ease the financial impact that comes with inflation. We never want our families to go hungry or struggle to find where the next meal is coming from.

The Clearview Youth Centre 

The Clearview Youth Centre serves youth throughout Clearview Township grades six to twelve. Their summer programming runs during the day and gives youth a place to hang out, participate in fun activities and receive valuable resources. They pride themselves in being able to offer youth new opportunities and access to free and low barrier programs and outings. 

The centre uses rescued food for their free meals, pantry and various snack programs. The variety of treats are also given as prizes or incentives.  

Our giving pantry has helped a variety of our families through food insecurity. The types of food we have received are fresh bread and baked goods, meat, non-perishable items, health and beauty products, cleaning products, plus more. We have also been able to make a ripple effect by passing along baby items to our local Emergency Baby Needs Depot and other items to the Food Bank. We have also used donations to run holiday gift drives to help our families. We are proud of the impact these donations have had on the families we serve.

Steinbach Family Resource Centre 

Steinbach Family Resource Centre serves the community of Steinbach and the surrounding Southeast Manitoba area, providing a wide range of essential resources for parents and their children, from clothing, dietary consultation to pregnancy support. Families and their children attending their summer food programming have access to food items that are donated through Second Harvest and other community partners. Their summer program includes: 

  • Little Family Garden provides each family with a small garden bed. They’ll learn basic gardening skills to take care of their share for the entire season.  
  • Kids in the Garden is catered to children aged 4-7. The purpose is to create positive experiences and attachment with their caregivers while promoting the benefits of planting, growing and eating the fruits of their labour.  
  • Kids in the Kitchen creates opportunity for children aged 6-12 to get a hands-on experience in creating new, unique and healthy recipes, trying food items that they may not otherwise attempt.

“Food rescue has become an integral part of the resources we offer to families on a regular basis, and has contributed to the growth of our organization, from serving 350 families in 2019-2020 to 650 families in 2023-2024. This is almost double since the ongoing challenges and economic struggle of the pandemic.” 

5 questions with GSK Canada

5 questions with GSK Canada

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