Community Papers

Kamloops Rotary wants to feed kids

The Rotary Club of Kamloops hopes to team up with local schools to keep full the stomachs of hungry children.

Club president Christopher Seguin said he’s hoping to launch two “child-hunger initiative” programs beginning next month.

The first will see NorKam secondary’s culinary-arts facility turned into a bi-weekly free kitchen offering dinners for needy youth, while the second aims to increase access to free breakfast programs at city schools.

Seguin said details are still being ironed out for both projects, but noted the Kamloops-Thompson school district likes the ideas.

The next step, he said, will be to figure out how to acquire all that food.

“The Rotary Club is creating funds for it,” he said. “We’re working with the Kamloops Food Bank and we’re going to be going to local businesses, including grocers, to create a sustainable system.

“We want to be the spark that starts the fire behind a sustainable solution.”

Seguin said “an un-scientific study” by Rotary has shown as many as 1,400 Kamloops youngsters go to school hungry each day.

“We were searching for something local and something we could make a great impact on,” he said.

“I’m tired of hearing it’s the government’s responsibility or the school’s responsibility or the parents’ responsibility — it’s all of our responsibility.”

There are already a number of organizations offering free meals throughout Kamloops, but Seguin said the environments are often not ideal for youth.

In addition, the school district already provides free breakfast programs in some schools, but Rotary would like to see it expanded to cover all hungry children.

According to Seguin, the dinners — which will likely be held twice a month on a three-month trial basis — are slated to begin in January, while the breakfast program will likely get going when classes resume after Christmas break.

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