The Grocery Foundation in partnership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks created the Rural Kids Grant Fund with $300,000 to be awarded to rural food banks over the next 3 years, for purchases of healthy foods for children under 18. In the urban centres children often receive healthy perishable foods because the urban food banks often receive perishable donations and have the facilities to keep them fresh. In the rural areas this is less the case.
The Orangeville Food Bank applied for and received $3500 to be used for this year on fresh healthy foods. We have re-purposed an old cooler and we now stock yogurt cups, cheese strings, apples, oranges, eggs and cut vegetables.
Parents receive guidance regarding Canada’s Food Guide and what foods their children should be eating on a daily basis. They also receive a feature recipe, very simple with no more than 4 steps, that uses the foods they would normally get in the food bank but combines these foods in a new way or a way that increases the nutritional value of the meal.
Since the launch we have served 436 children in the first three months of 2013. The response has been terrific and parents are very thankful to be receiving healthy food for their children.