Last fall, Chinook Winds Region approved funding for approximately 27 mission projects throughout our area. Grant recipients were asked to submit an article about their program to the Chinook Winds newsletter. Congratulations to the Acadia School Lunch Program for being the first grant recipient to submit an article and photos!
By Dianne Mather
The Acadia School Lunch Program of McDougall United Church is very grateful to Chinook Winds Region for providing funding assistance for our program which is now in its fifth year of operation. Our mission is to provide healthy food — 50% of a child’s daily nutritional requirements — when a full snack and lunch is consumed. The food is provided to children at three local schools who often arrive with little or no food for the day.
Currently, the program is operated by co-coordinators Dianne Mather and Bonnie Hondas as well as our amazing team of 40 dedicated volunteers who make lunches for three days per week in the McDougall Church kitchen. We partner with the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour who does the other two days of the week. We try very hard to maintain a fun and congenial work environment where volunteers, many who are seniors, come out to socialize and participate in this valued service. They are very passionate about feeding hungry children. We are also fortunate to have two “dietitian daughters” who can be consulted when required to enhance our program.
Bonnie primarily looks after volunteers and communicating with the schools. Mary Lee heads up the baking team and monthly bake in the McDougall United Church kitchen. Dianne coordinates the weekly menus, food supply and volunteer shoppers to pick up groceries donated by Save On Foods. Donelle, McDougall’s Children’s Program Leader, faithfully picks up donated bread from Cobbs and her husband, Jaret, delivers it weekly in time for sandwich making.
On special Sundays, Donelle coordinates with the lunch program to have the children participate in lunch-making and also learn about sharing, caring for others and making Christian values come alive today.