Western Financial boosts school food program

Silverthorne students benefit from many donations

A Western Financial Group donation last week is helping Silverthorne Elementary finance its daily food program for students.

Through Western Financial’s charitable arm, Western Communities Foundation, local employees presented a cheque for $396.15, monies raised through a raffle, a five kilometre walkathon and a barbecue.

“Every year we choose one project, a non-profit, something that we can help with,” local Western Financial employee Anna Stearns said last week.

“We chose Silverthorne because the food program helps so many students,” she said.

Silverthorne principal Julie Krall estimates up to 70 students out of the school’s student population of 175 take advantage of its daily hot lunch program. The school also maintains a breakfast program.

The underlying principle behind the food program is that every student is eligible and no one pays, said Krall.

“It’a daily hot lunch and nutritious,” explained Krall in adding that parents can, if they wish, make cash donations.

It costs approximately $4 a day to provide a hot lunch or approximately $75 a a month for a student, meaning that donations such as the one from Western Financial are appreciated.

“We get a lot of help from the community,” Krall said of both monetary donations and in-kind ones. Any donated foodstuffs must be sealed in their original packaging.

School employees prepare the meals daily and students will assist.

There is no dedicated cafeteria space at Silverthorne but tables in open areas and hallways provide a space for students to eat and socialize with their friends in a friendly atmosphere.

“What we’re promoting is positive and respectful behaviour,” said Krall of the atmosphere in which students eat.

She noted that the breakfast program is crucial for some students as having a full stomach then provides a foundation for success in their studies.

“You can really see the difference,” Krall said.

She welcomed the Western Financial donation, saying the school has been very fortunate to have a broad base of community support.

Assistance ranges from purchasing $100 Buy Low gift cards with 10 per cent then going directly to the food program to donations from businesses, groups and individuals.

The list includes PC Children’s Charity, Buy Low Foods, DLM Meats, Poplar Meadows Angus, Laureen Fabian and Egon Rapp, Bulkley Valley Credit Union Houston, Andrew Muma and Mary Robinson, Dungate Community Forests, Linda and Peter Bodnar, Kenneth Turner, Houston Health Centre, Houston Baptist Church, Doug and Teresa Stumpf and families of students.

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