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Organizations band together in Moncton to replace school nutrition program

Organizations band together in Moncton to replace school nutrition program

About 450 bagged lunches are now delivered throughout the week in the Moncton area, a replacement for school lunch programs halted by the pandemic.

Roxane Perrault and Norma Roberts help disperse numerous bagged lunches around the Moncton location to change school breakfast and lunch programs stopped by the pandemic. (Submitted/Debbie McGinnis)

About 450 bagged lunches are now delivered throughout the week in the Moncton area, a replacement for school breakfast and lunch programs stopped by the pandemic.

The lunches are prepared Monday through Friday and driven on five buses to 19 drop-off points in Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe and Salisbury.

It’s a collaboration by the United Method, Moncton Headstart, Moncton Boys and Girls Club, Riverview Boys and Girls Club, Food Depot Alimentaire and the Anglophone School District East.

” If you have kids who usually ate their lunch at school, or breakfast and lunch at school, and now you have kids house, and they’re young and you have two or 3 children, it’s actually hard to get to a food bank or access the food you may need,” said Debbie McGinnis, CEO of the United Method Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick.

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McGinnis said the program is also crucial to assist continue an individual’s connection to the wider neighborhood, even when social distancing.

Some of the bagged lunches are prepared at Motivation Coffee shop in downtown Moncton. (Submitted/Debbie McGinnis)

The lunch program introduced last Thursday and sees lunches prepared in the early morning, packed onto buses owned by the various organizations, and dropped off over the lunch hour in different areas by teams of 2 volunteers.

” We simply go to the areas where we think the need might be the greatest or people will have the ability to gain access to quickly,” McGinnis said. “And what we’ve seen is it’s growing.”

Those areas consist of parks in Moncton where 15 lunches were set to be distributed at each area on Wednesday, according to a notice from the school district sent out to parents this week.

  • Westbrook Circle Park at 11: 45 a.m.
  • White Frost Town Park at 12: 15 p.m.
  • Marsh Street Park at 12: 45 p.m.
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The lunches include a sandwich, yogurt, a granola bar and fruit. The food is provided by Food Depot Alimentaire.

McGinnis stated funding that had actually been designated for school breakfast or lunch programs that are no longer running due to the fact that of school closures is being used to assist cover costs.

She said anybody aiming to assist with the effort can donate to Food Depot Alimentaire.

The lunches are delivered through a partnership of the United Way, Moncton Headstart, Moncton Boys and Girls Club, Riverview Boys and Girls Club, Food Depot Alimentaire and the Anglophone East School District. (Submitted/Paul Toner)

The lunches are prepared at 2 high schools and at Motivation Coffee Shop at the Peace Centre in downtown Moncton.

The work uses social distancing and hand hygiene, McGinnis stated, to keep volunteers and those receiving the lunches safe.

McGinnis stated they’re wanting to ramp up production and circulation to serve 600 to 700 daily by the end of the week.

She stated they prepare to offer a bit more food with the Friday lunches to help with the weekend, given that the program only runs Monday to Friday.

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