The community has enthusiastically backed Nourish Cowichan’s fundraising efforts. (Submitted)

The community has enthusiastically backed Nourish Cowichan’s fundraising efforts. (Submitted)

Partnership to help feed hungry kids

Cowichan Valley school district steps up with kitchen to help Nourish Cowichan to feed more kids.

Well-fed kids learn better and a local group will work with School District 79 this fall to feed hungry students.

The Nourish Cowichan Society is stepping up to help out.

A former metal shop at École Mount Prevost in Duncan is being given new life as a result of the project, which will see the non-profit organization convert the space into a food preparation facility.

The partnership was announced after the Board of Education approved a motion brought forward during a special board meeting held Thursday evening, June 29.

Board chair Candace Spilsbury and her colleagues are excited about the idea.

“We know that children learn better when they are well nourished, and unfortunately we have a number of young learners in our district who come to school hungry,” she said, after the decision was made. “We are very pleased to be able to provide the Nourish Cowichan Society with a space for their food production, so they can continue to grow and expand their support to other schools in the Cowichan Valley.”

The non-profit group has been working hard to provide food for kids and has also rallied a lot of community support to help with funds to push this new partnership with the school district ahead.

In a Facebook post June 30, Nourish Cowichan announced, “Thank you to all the volunteers and donors that have helped and contribute to this successful, amazing month: $48,000 for food and $10,500 towards the kitchen.”

Nourish Cowichan is currently able to provide breakfast at $1 per day, per student in the Cowichan Valley. They began providing meals to students at Khowhemun Elementary as a pilot program in November 2016; now they are present in five schools.

“Nourish Cowichan Society was born out of a staggering number of children in the Cowichan Valley going to school without breakfast,” said Fatima Da Silva, President and Co-Founder of Nourish Cowichan Society. “We are rapidly expanding, and having a larger kitchen facility to prepare our weekly deliveries is something we really needed and have been raising funds for. We are thrilled to be partnering with the school district to build our kitchen at École Mount Prevost, and look forward to further supporting students across the Cowichan Valley.”

For more information on the Nourish Cowichan Society, which is now a registered charity, visit www.nourishcowichan.ca/.