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Calgary organization appeals for back-to-school help providing lunches for kids

Click to play video: 'Back-to-school appeal to help provide lunches for Calgary kids: ‘There’s a huge need’'
Back-to-school appeal to help provide lunches for Calgary kids: ‘There’s a huge need’
WATCH ABOVE: Canada’s high inflation rate is making providing school lunches a big challenge for a lot of Calgary families. As Gil Tucker reports, an organization that provides thousands of lunches each day is now appealing for help in feeding the children – Sep 13, 2022

Canada’s high inflation is making school lunches a big challenge for a lot of Calgary families.

An organization that provides thousands of lunches each day is now appealing for help in feeding those children.

The Brown Bagging For Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) agency is now feeding more kids at than at any time since it began offering school lunches in 2005.

BB4CK is providing 5,400 lunches each day at 220 schools around Calgary, an increase of 20 per cent since September 2021.

“With some children, this might be the only meal they get all day,” said BB4CK volunteer Marilyn Jorgensen.

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Jorgensen was among several volunteers preparing lunches Tuesday at BB4CK’s head office, trying to prevent the problems that come when young students don’t get enough to eat.

“They can’t do schoolwork very well, they don’t remember as well, they can’t focus as well,” volunteer Maggie Jegen said.

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There are several factors contributing to the growing demand for BB4CK’s services.

“Inflation — costs are going up,” Jorgensen said.

“We have a lot of people that, during COVID, lost their jobs, so they’re living on a very limited income right now.”

And it’s not just learning that takes a hit when there’s not enough money for groceries — kids also suffer in other ways.

“If you’re the only third-grader who doesn’t have a lunch today, you’re not sitting in the cafeteria watching all your other friends eat, because that’s a horrible experience,” BB4CK executive director Bethany Ross said. “You’re hiding in the stairwell, in the bathroom, waiting until you can all go outside and pretend that that didn’t happen.

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“If we just put food in your hands, now you can sit at that table and make the jokes and make the friends — and that’s so important.”

BB4CK is running a fundraising campaign through until the end of September.

BB4CK is trying to give as many young Calgarians as possible the boost they need for the new school year.

“Just the fact that you’re feeding a child — everybody wins,” Jorgensen said.

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