Feeding Kids Beyond The School Week
When hundreds of students in Calgary were identified as living in food insecure households, the Calgary Board of Education school-based partnership, Weekends and More, was created. Since 2014, students have received nutritious food hampers containing two to three days’ worth of food that discreetly fits into a backpack. This program works to help alleviate hunger and the stigma of food insecurity in students. By providing Weekends and More hampers to participating schools, staff and teachers can support students who are struggling with access to nutritious food on weekends.
Food insecurity can have lasting and devastating effects, especially on younger populations. Food insecurity leads to attention problems, poor grades, chronic health conditions, nutrient deficiencies, and even depression. Feeding students has a positive impact on their academics, social interactions, and health, and Weekends and More helps to ensure that hunger is not a barrier to learning.
Weekends and More hampers are a catalyst for students and staff to have a conversation about life at home to help identify the root cause of their food insecurity. Reasons can be as simple as a family not being aware a food bank or other services exist.
Teachers at participating schools assess students and determine who would benefit from receiving a hamper.
What’s In A Hamper?
All hampers include two to three days’ worth of mostly shelf stable, easy to prepare and ready to eat items. Food items come from an approved list created with the help of Alberta Health Services dietitians.
Included are two of each item: dairy, protein, grain, fruit, and vegetables, and one apple.
Numbers reflect our fiscal year, September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.
“Food security is a growing problem, and students look forward to receiving their bags weekly. Families are appreciative as well, knowing that kids have access to food. We have excellent lines of communication with families, and they reach out when they need additional supports. But we also use the program as a gauge to see which families may need more. At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring that kids can be successful and engaged in learning. Hungry kids don’t learn, so thanks partly to the Calgary Food Bank, we can provide that support.”
Ms. Payal Tuli, Principal at Banting and Best School
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join the Weekends and More Program?
For more information, please contact:
P: 403-253-2059 Ext. 230
How are students identified to be part of the program?
Teachers at each participating school assess students and determine those that would benefit from receiving a Weekends and More hamper.
What's in a Weekends and More hamper?
Weekend and More hampers contain enough meals and snacks to feed a child from Friday after school until they return to class on Monday morning. Food items come from an approved list created with the help of Alberta Health Services Dietitians.
Items are mostly shelf-stable and easy to prepare so a child does not require an adult to be present. Included are two of each item: dairy, protein, grain, fruit and vegetables.
Are the hampers delivered?
Weekend and More hampers are delivered by the Calgary Food Bank to each participating school. Teachers at each school are responsible for providing a hamper to the appropriate student before they go home for the weekend.
How does reporting work for the program?
We require schools accessing the Weekends and More Program to provide regular feedback. When we track the impact, structure and value of the program, we can work best to suit your school’s and the community’s needs. Reporting is a mandatory part of accessing the program and failing to submit surveys on time may result in losing access to the program.
To update your school’s contact information for this reporting, please contact:
P: 403-253-2059, ext. 230
Become A Community Partner
Contact Leanna Andrews by email or call 403-253-2059 ext. 230 to receive more details.