March 13, 2015 1:00 pm
Updated: March 13, 2015 5:06 pm

Program that ensures students don’t go hungry gets $9,500 from community group

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MONCTON – Fewer students in the Greater Moncton region will go hungry this weekend thanks to a donation made by a group of generous women.

The program “Blessings in a Backpak” has expanded after a group called 100 Women Who Care in Greater Moncton donated $9,500 to the program.

Three years ago, Moncton’s Kimberley Jelley launched the national “Blessings in a Backpack” program in Greater Moncton.

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She says she decided to bring the program here after volunteering at her children’s school breakfast program where she saw how many kids had so little to eat.

“It makes them feel less worried, less stressed about where their food is going to come from,” she said.

Now, every Friday she and a group of dedicated volunteers hand out bags of food to more than 500 students in the Anglophone East School District.

“Children in elementary school, kindergarten to grade 8 who are identified as food insecure by school administrators for whatever reason,” she said. “This is not a big bag of food, this is just a little bag of food that hopefully helps fill some of the gaps on the weekend.”

The food bags are tucked away into their backpacks anonymously, so Jelly never knows just who the program is feeding. But based on feedback from the schools she says some kids who’ve received their bags feel better cared for.

On Friday, she was able to help out even more hungry kids thanks to a $9,500 donation from 100 Women Who Care in Greater Moncton.

Jenna Cann made the cheque presentation.

“One of the things they shared in our meeting is that they are in the Anglophone community but not in the Francophone schools and so knowing the funding can help they expand is extremely exciting,” she said.

Now, for the first time, Jelley was able to tuck those bags of food into kids’ pack in the Francophone District as well.

In the coming months the group will be able to feed another 100 kids.

“Our children are the future and so we need to take care of them.”

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