Snack Box Program – COVID19 Response

As the need for food security became of paramount importance during the COVID-19 pandemic, community members and organizations have been working tirelessly to address this need.

Here at the Summit Youth Centre we have been working to enhance food security for families, children, and youth across the Columbia Valley whenever we can, but in particular as a result of COVID-19. 

The Snack Box for Kids Program was launched on May 13th The program has provided 189 children and youth with a weekly delivery containing 3 days worth of healthy snacks.

Many of the children and youth of our Valley benefit from nutritional support through their daycare or school.  For many students, these snacks are an essential, irreplaceable food source and a valued part of their day. Much of the foods distributed are not provided through designated school food programs. Instead, they are distributed in a variety of ways by teachers and support workers who are aware of the need. This method ensures food accessibility in a safe, trusting environment which also provides nutritional and emotional security. The need for food to be supplied at schools stems from students simply forgetting lunches to families who might be experiencing times of food insecurity. Due to school closures, these trusted food sources have disappeared for many of our Valley’s children and youth. 

The Summit Youth Centre staff and volunteers prepare and deliver food boxes to children and youth, with assistance from community partners including Columbia Valley Food Bank, Columbia Valley Food and Farm, all schools in the Columbia Valley, the Shuswap Band, Akisqnuk First Nation, Columbia Valley Metis  Chartered Community, and community members to ensure all children in need are receiving food.
These boxes provide nutritional support for children who need them, but they are also a way of sharing kindness throughout our community. Each box includes healthy snacks and easily-prepared meal ingredients. This is a short-term program lasting until schools and daycares are able to resume regular functioning, possibly September 2020.

Food for the boxes has been gathered through many different sources, such as; snack drives, collecting donations of vegetables and fruits from parents and community members, receiving in-kind donations of food from the Food Bank, and fresh BC fruits and vegetables provided by the BC Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program. Additionally, foods will be purchased locally and through food service providers such as Sysco Foods. 

Funding for the Columbia Valley Snack Box for Kids Program has been provided by The Summit Youth Centre, Columbia Valley Community Foundation, Kicking Horse Coffee, School District #6, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, DTSS Chef Training, Columbia Valley Metis Association, Kinsmen Club of the Columbia Valley, the Parent Advisory Councils of J.A Laird, Edgewater Elementary, Martin Morigeau Elementary, and David Thompson Secondary School. 

The Columbia Valley Snack Box for Kids Program is being led by the Summit Youth Centre, with planning support from Columbia Valley Food and Farm, School District #6, the Columbia Valley Food Bank, Andrea Salzbrenner,
 and Joanne Bragg.
If you would like more information about the Columbia Valley Snack Box for Kids Program, please contact Kelsey Prichard, Centre Director, Summit Youth Centre: 250-342-3033 or at summit.centre@gmail.com

Check out our yummy snack boxes!