Helping Others: Student-led and School Food Efforts

With demand at food banks growing over the course of the pandemic, food insecurity has become a reality for more families, as COVID-19 has impacted people’s livelihoods and sources of support. In addition to the district-wide meal program, students and school staff have led several efforts, often with the support of partners, to help those in need – and even to show appreciation to front-line workers.

A 16-year-old student at Alpha Secondary single-handedly led a “Feed the Frontline” project. Joon Choi was able to deliver thousands of dollars’ worth of food to healthcare workers by partnering with a local restaurant, the Burnaby Hospital Foundation and with the help of her brother. Joon organized the donation and delivery of the complimentary meals to workers at Burnaby General Hospital. She said she wanted to “hit a note of optimism” by acknowledging our frontline hospital workers:

Amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, frontline workers have persistently worked to keep us and our families well and healthy – all the while putting their own health at risk.”

Watch her video of how the day went.

Meanwhile at Confederation Park Elementary, the school community has raised almost $1300 and counting for the Greater Vancouver Foodbank. As there are so many organizations in need, a teacher at the school also arranged a food drive for Burnaby Neighbourhood House Food Hub, collecting class donations to support vulnerable families and children.

Others have found a way to be creative with what they have. At Forest Grove Elementary, the school garden – supported by Sprouting Chefs – was harvested twice to help nine families who could benefit from it. In addition to continuing to bring together the school community, garden club families will maintain the plants and the distribution of the harvest during the summer months. See the interview featured on CBC News.

Every little bit helps. A contact-free “Everyday Superheroes Drive-by Donation Day” was held over a Saturday in Cariboo Hill Secondary’s parking lot – the event was organized by our community partner, Burnaby Neighbourhood House, with the District supplying the rental space at no cost. Meanwhile, leadership students at Burnaby North Secondary collected canned food and raised $200 for the Greater Vancouver Foodbank.

Our students are truly the leaders of today and tomorrow, and we are proud of the many ways they have come together with their schools to support families in need with food.


Posted June 2020