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Saint John children’s group expands food donations during coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video: 'Saint John children’s group expands food donations during COVID-19' Saint John children’s group expands food donations during COVID-19
A Saint John group which works with at-risk children is remaining relevant despite being shut down during COVID-19. – Apr 17, 2020

A Saint John organization that focuses on helping at-risk children and their families is staying relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bee Me Kidz normally offers programs that help children understand emotions and problem-solving, but was one of the first programs to be cancelled in the city because of the pandemic.

Now, Missy Bewick, the head of the organization, is stepping up with fresh food deliveries to those in need.

READ MORE: Saint John Transit cuts service due to ‘reduced ridership’ during COVID-19

Food security is an aspect of the youth program that organizers felt was important to continue during this period of uncertainty.

“We wanted to make sure it was full of fresh, healthy produce and we buy in bulk so we get economies of scale, we are able to support local farmers so our costs are really good,” Bewick said.

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Friday was a delivery day for Bewick and she was welcomed with a smile by everyone she visited.

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“To eat healthy raises your food bill by about 25 per cent or more, and he’s fussy too,” said Mike Greenlaw, whose son is in the Bee Me Kidz program.

It was a sentiment echoed by Jennifer London, another parent whose children are in the program.

“They’re helping because it’s hard for me to get out,” said London.

“I do have four children to get out and get fresh food, plus funds-wise I don’t really get a whole lot of income especially since I’ve been laid off.”

Click to play video: 'How to increase your food security during the COVID-19 pandemic' How to increase your food security during the COVID-19 pandemic
How to increase your food security during the COVID-19 pandemic – Apr 15, 2020

Bee Me Kidz has broadened its campaign with anyone in need eligible for a basket of food.

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That also means that donations are welcome.

The organization is still trying to promote its values even if it’s shut down. An activity set is included in the food basket for kids stuck inside as a result of self-isolation rules.

“This week the children are learning in their activity box all about the emotion worry and how to go from being worried to happy,” said Bewick.

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The interaction the program brings is also sorely missed.

Tabatha Carr’s daughter has autism and she says the visits have made a difference.

“Instead of having a meltdown she is learning to self-actualize what her issue is and Bee Me Kidz has actually helped quite a bit,” said Carr.

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