Adopt-A-School: Isolated elementary school looking to provide simple snacks for hungry kids
GOLD RIVER — Natasha Toth would like to have a hot breakfast available to serve hungry children entering Ray Watkins Elementary in the morning, but she doesn’t have the staff or resources to pull it off.
“I don’t have the infrastructure to be able to do it,” said Toth, the school’s principal.
The school, which has a small, inadequate kitchen, is also without the means to provide lunch for students, except for once a month.
“The local First Nation band generously provides the money for that,” she said.
“Being able to provide daily healthy classroom snacks would benefit the whole school,” she said. “I would like to provide daily fruits and veggies and have supplies of yoghurt, cheese and crackers that we can keep in the lunch room to be handed out to students who need a lunch or extra food.”
It’s a trek of 90 kilometres down Highway 28 from this central Vancouver Island village to reach any source of fresh produce, which likely goes some way to explain the lack of vegetables and fruit in the children’s daily diet.
“We have to drive to Campbell River. There’s no grocery store in town, just a little corner store,” Toth said.
And the area is economically depressed.
“I don’t know what a lot of people do, because in the community there aren’t a ton of jobs.