Parents and caregivers in School District No. 74 don’t have to worry about packing school lunches for their children this year. Stock image.

Parents and caregivers in School District No. 74 don’t have to worry about packing school lunches for their children this year. Stock image.

School District offers free lunch program for all students

Program is in effect for the 2019/2020 school year, and might be extended

Who says that there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

At its June 4, 2019 meeting, the Board of Trustees of School District No. 74 (SD74) approved a budget that included a universal lunch program for all students at every school in the district. The program is in effect for the 2019/2020 school year, and Board Co-Chair Valerie Adrian hopes that it will have a positive impact on outcomes for students.

“I’ve watched kids running to the school bus in the morning with toast in their hand,” she says, noting that some schools in the district already had breakfast programs in place. “In our area [Lillooet] one Band provided funding for schools in the area to offer some meal in the morning.”

She says that at the June Board meeting there was concern that some students in the district were not getting healthy lunches, and others had no lunch at all.

“It’s different across the district, but all schools face the same thing.”

Each school in SD74 has hired someone to plan and prepare the lunches, using the Canada Food Guide and the Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools as references to help ensure that meals are healthy.

At Desert Sands Community School in Ashcroft, meals served so far this year include perogies with cheese; salad with garlic bread; spaghetti and meat sauce; stir fries; and hearty vegetable soup. All lunches include fruit or vegetables as part of the meal.

The Kindergarten and Grade 1 students are served the meals in their classrooms. The other students at Desert Sands are served in the cafeteria in two shifts.

Adrian says that she heard from a parent who said that the program was a wonderful idea, and that they were glad the school district had started it.

“I’m hoping that it does have an impact on student outcomes,” says Adrian. “At least people won’t be hungry. I know that when students are fed they can concentrate better.

“I’m just glad that we’re able to do this this year, and really hope we can continue with it next year. We’ll look at it for next year’s budget when we sit down [in spring 2020] to discuss finance.

“If any parents have feedback, we’re more than willing to listen to it.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read