The transition into secondary school is a daunting part of every adolescent’s life and grade seven boys and girls are faced with many choices, challenges and changes in their first year of secondary school. To help with this transition, with funding support from the Envision Financial Community Endowment, the YWCA Metro Vancouver has been delivering an after-school program for grade 7 girls and boys in Surrey.
Foodies and healthy eating advocates alike have been praising farm to table efforts for a number of years, and with its Farm 2 School Salad Bar initiative, School District 53 is bringing the health, nutritional and food security benefits of farm to table eating to Oliver Elementary School in Oliver, B.C. “It’s really a community effort,” says Bart Tumlinson, Principal of Oliver Elementary.
Have you ever gotten a bunch of fresh veggies and went to use them a couple of days later, only to realize they spoiled and couldn’t be used? It’s a common problem for many people, and most would solve it by a quick jaunt to the grocery store or a phone call for takeout. But, what if those veggies were your only meal option? For some people, the question becomes much more than what to have for dinner; it becomes a question of what means they have to get more food.
Good nutrition fuels both our bodies and our minds. This is what the Kelowna & District Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) firmly believes and is working to enhance among the youth they support in Kelowna through their Connected by 25 Supper Club. The Supper Club is a program that supports at-risk youth (ages 16–24) in their transition to adulthood by providing knowledge, skills and community connections to successfully address issues of food insecurity and hunger.
This program has also helped participating youth become more connected to their community, discover peer support and volunteer opportunities, gain vocational skills and development, and at the foundation of all this, improve their nutrition education and food security.
Research has shown that when people eat alone, they are less likely to eat a nutritious meal. This is especially true for seniors. Peachland Wellness Centre’s Cooking with Company program is working to make sure that seniors in Peachland have access to a healthy meal and social environment, and do not have to eat alone. The program started in fall 2012 with the assistance of a $1,000 Valley First Community Endowment grant and received an additional $1,000 grant last year.
For many parents and children, a normal school routine includes packing a lunch box to make sure children have the food they need to sustain them throughout the day. However, some are not as fortunate and do not have resources readily accessible to have anything available to eat before school or to take with them. The sad reality is that many kids don’t know whether there will be anything available when they come home from school either.
Sardis Doorway for Mothers and Children Society works to open doors to healthier and happier lives for single/high risk mothers (occasionally fathers, too) and their children in Chilliwack. When participants start with Sardis Doorway, many of them are starting from a place of isolation, addiction, abuse, low self-esteem, poverty, un- or under employment, low education and little hope. Sardis Doorway helps these parents and their children move past their hurdles towards health and self-reliance.
One in three Canadian families cannot afford to enroll their children in art, sport or recreation activities because of financial barriers, which is why programs such as the Chilliwack Central Elementary Community School Society’s (CCECSS) 2nd Day After School Program are essential to a thriving community and youth population. Initiated in February 2012, the free after school Central 2nd Day program offers inner city elementary school-aged children with supervised educational, recreational and cultural opportunities that otherwise would not be provided to them. Additionally, it connects youth in crisis with a caring community of support.
A safe afterschool environment, homework tutors, life skills and recreational activities are taken for granted by many Langley youth and families. But for immigrant and refugee youth who face many barriers, obtaining these resources and support aids in the transition to life in a new country. Now, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Envision Financial Community Endowment to the Langley Community Services Society (LCSS), the Society will be able to give much-needed support to immigrant and refugee youth during the new school year.
Vibrant Abbotsford is an initiative of the United Way of the Fraser Valley (UWFV) focused on building a more vibrant city through the reduction of poverty. The initiative’s most recent project is the Fresh Food Box and Bulk Buying Club, a project that will purchase household and food items at wholesale cost, leveraging low-income residents’ buying power and passing along savings to participants.Envision Financial is proud to support the Abbotsford Fresh Food Box and Bulk Buying Club program with a $5,005 donation from the Envision Financial Community Endowment administered by the First West Foundation.