‘A few of them don’t have a lunch’: Moncton charity requires donations to feed youngsters – New Brunswick

A charity in Greater Moncton that provides food for children in need is turning to the community to help support them.

Isthmus Moncton provides food for children who use breakfast programs in school, by sending them home with a bag of non-perishable food items for the weekend.

Valerie MacIntosh, who volunteers for the group, says it doesn’t have enough donations to make it to the end of the school year.

“We probably have enough funds to carry us through until the end of January right now,” she says. “We are looking at about $20,000 that we are in need (of) to finish out the school program.”

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Isthmus Moncton, formerly known as “Blessings in a Backpack,” started as a 2014 pilot project when it fed 10 kids from one school. It now feeds roughly 645 students in 28 elementary schools in the local area.

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While some shelves in Isthmus Monctno’s food packing space are full, others remain empty.

Callum Smith/Global News

“We feel it’s very important. A lot of these children that are in our program, they just simply don’t have enough food to eat,” says MacIntosh. “They come to school, they’re using a breakfast program; some of them don’t have a lunch.”

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Isthmus says one in every five children in Canada are food insecure, totaling about 1.3 million youth.

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Monetary donations made to the group go straight to non-perishable food items, as a result of not having overhead costs thanks to sponsors.

The group knew they’d be in for a challenge, when they started with about half of the funds they normally would, heading into this academic year.

“Every year, we’ve had a starting balance of about $40-to-50-thousand to start off the year,” says MacIntosh. “Unfortunately, this year, that hasn’t been the case; we’ve started off with $22,500.”

Isthmus Moncton has applied for about 15 grants, which it remains optimistic about but hasn’t been successful yet.

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