Kingston News: School lunch program continues through summer

The cost of inflation is affecting many families in Kingston, and now a local school lunch program provides healthy meals to students throughout the summer.

With the end of the school year, the Food Sharing Project warehouse was generally quiet.

But this summer, volunteers will be working outdoors, says general manager Andy Mills, as he packs boxes full of groceries.

“We will provide food boxes, healthy and nutritious food to families in need.”

The organization provides free school meals to elementary and high school students in the Kingston area.

Mills says with the rising cost of food and inflation, those same children still need help, so the program has been extended.

“Some families struggle to juggle things, especially with utilities and fuel for their car to get to work,” he says, “and the cost of food.”

The boxes are filled with things like bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cereal. They are delivered every two weeks to over 450 families in Kingston.

The summer program started as a way to help students at home at the start of the pandemic, Mills says, but three years later, and with skyrocketing costs for parents, demand has remained steady. .

Macy Briand, a fourth-year summer student at Queen’s University with the Food Sharing Project, says it’s all about helping pack the boxes to help bridge the one-year gap at school. ‘other.

“I was really shocked by the number of families who needed help,” she said. “It certainly educated me, generally speaking, about Kingston’s widespread need for nutrition and food aid. In the summer, the students aren’t even in school, so they don’t get the resources they get there.

The organization says their own food and supply costs have increased by almost 20% in some cases. Mills says he relies on cash donations to provide the service.

“We will have this year, we will help people and we will also look to next year,” he said.

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