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LPSD student nutrition program feeling the community support as demand increases

The Lloydminster Public School Division nutrition programs, designed to keep students in need fed, has been getting an uptick in local support as demand increases.

The program has received two large donations in the last week, one from CNRL totalling $6,800 and another from United Way for $10,000. This has also been compounded with more support from other local businesses hosting their own cash or food drives.

This funding will be turned around fresh fruit, vegetables, whole wheat grains and breads, dairy and lean protein for the LPSD breakfast program.

Wellness and Nutrition Coordinator Sarah Paterson explains that by having these items, kids are relieved of some stresses if they’re dealing with food insecurity.

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“They know they’re going their going to receive a nutritious meal that’s going to fuel them for the day, without a judgement or stigma attached. To them, they’re simply just sharing a meal with their peers.”

The support also comes at a time when the LPSD is seeing more students needing the program, something Paterson says is being added onto by the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic factors impacting local families.

Now, they’re seeing up to 1,600 students per week needing some form of nutritional help, either via the breakfast program, emergency lunch supports or food backpacks sent home with a student.

“We’re having to do more with less this year,” Paterson says, “so we couldn’t have asked for a better time with these donations. They’ll go a long way to helping expand our nutrition program over the next few months as we finish the school year.”

Paterson adds that they’re working on future plans for the program. People wanting to help can reach out to the LPSD to donate.

When the COVID-19 restrictions ease, a call for volunteers will likely be put out as well.

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