At the beginning of the month, I Can for Kids was joined by more than 230 volunteers at their warehouse for their annual food packing event, including one evening dedicated solely to Rotarians. Over the course of four evenings, 12,000 food packs were prepared. The food packs, along with fresh fruit and peanut butter, are distributed throughout the summer to agency partners who deliver them directly to the kids, most often in their place of residence.
I Can for Kids food packs are designed to be kid-friendly and easy to prepare. Our food pack contents need to be healthful choices and the selection nutritionally balanced to support children’s developing minds and bodies in the best way possible. We work closely with our agency partners and a nutritionist to select products that will be enjoyed by kids while offering nutritional value, variety and choice. Each food pack feeds a child for a day or more.
We are fortunate to have SunRype and Ocean’s as partners; they donate their product so that we can provide a variety of healthy choices. Save-On-Foods supports us as well. Throughout the month of May, shoppers could buy $5 food packs at Save-On-Food locations throughout the city. We are also grateful to our many supporters who donate money. We use these donations to purchase the missing items that make up a balanced food pack, such as fresh fruit.
A great team building experience
Volunteers come from all over the city to help out. “It’s great fun to be with friends and doing something good,” says John F. Operated like an assembly line, the process of putting together a food pack works best when we all work together, in the same way that the issue of hunger will only fully be addressed when everyone is on the same team. Hank D. says, “Volunteering for I Can for Kids was a great team building experience and felt good all around!”
Working with our partner agencies who help us identify kids who are food insecure, delivery takes place from June 27-August 31. “Believe it or not, in a city like Calgary, we have a lot of hungry families and a lot of hungry kids. Fortunately a lot of schools are helping but unfortunately during the summer months, they are left without a food program. So I Can for Kids helps meet that need,” says volunteer Rick I.