Funding from B.C.’s Student and Family Affordability Fund will go towards feeding more children in the Cowichan Valley.
Nourish Cowichan received $308,344 from the fund. They say they were identified as a key community partner, providing service to students and families in the Cowichan Valley.
The funding is a portion of the total allotment given to the Cowichan Valley School District.
The organization was born after its founders saw a large number of children going to school without a meal in 2016. It became a charity in 2017.
Fatima Da Silva, Dina Holbrook and Anita Carroll, its initial co-founders, began providing breakfast to one school as a pilot project.
The Nourish team now has around 50 volunteers who bring food to over 800 children at no cost to the school district.
Da Silva, now the organization’s executive director, says the funds come at an important time with more mouths to feed.
“These funds come at the most crucial time. When we started this school year, we started with the knowledge that the number of students we support would be going up. What we didn’t expect was to see it rise to more than 50 per cent,” said Da Silva.
“Due to the rising cost of living, more families are struggling and every week our numbers continue to go up. For the very first time, our new forecasted budget for the year is approximately $1 million.”
Cowichan Valley School District board of education chair Cathy Schmidt says they hope to bolster the organization’s efforts.
“We know what an incredible service that Nourish Cowichan brings into our schools. Making high-quality, delicious food available for any child in the district takes incredible community support,” said Schmidt.
The remaining funds were allocated to schools to best support their students and families throughout the year.