Edmonton Temple serves up hot lunch for local school

by robin124

The Salvation Army’s mandate is that they will always help based on need and their capacity to give. When The Salvation Army’s team at Edmonton Temple heard there was a need for a hot lunch program at Braemar School – a local school that helps pregnant and parenting teens complete their education, they reached out to see what they could do to help.

“We saw that there was an opportunity to get more involved in our community,” said Capt. Fred Reid, Corps Officer at Edmonton Temple. “This is a good partnership for our ministry to be able to come alongside and give hope. We’ve also been able to help out with different things like Christmas Hampers, and our Moms & Tots Camp.”

Through The Salvation Army’s Community Ministries Programme, volunteers cook and deliver a nutritious hot lunch once a week to about 40 students using the Church’s commercial kitchen. The lunch also gives the students an opportunity to eat with their kids, and enjoy the meal together. Any leftovers are packaged up and given out to whoever needs them.

Working with the Terra Centre, Braemar School offers a supportive environment to pregnant and parenting teens, aged 13-19 years, to complete their education so they and their children can reach their full potential.

“This partnership means that students don’t have to worry about finding or affording a nutritious lunch during the school day and allows them to focus on their education,” said Paul Thorne, Volunteer Coordinator at the Terra Centre. “The Salvation Army’s contributions have made an amazing difference in our school community and have resulted in more community groups wanting to support the Terra Centre.”

“It’s a huge weight off of our shoulders having a free hot lunch provided,” said Alexus a student at Braemar School and Terra Program, “The Salvation Army staff are very friendly, and even remember our faces outside of the school if we meet them on the street. They are kind and generous and we appreciate everything they do for us. “

The staff at the school were able to identify the following impacts of The Salvation Army’s lunch program:

  • Increase in attendance: Staff indicates that attendance and engagement with participants are higher on Tuesdays when The Salvation Army is serving lunch.
  • Helps families with other meals: Moms often come in at the end of the day on Tuesday to see if there are leftovers from lunch that they can take home for dinner.
  • Supports budgeting goals:  This lunch opportunity is used as a part of budgeting conversations as it helps reduce students’ grocery bills.
  • Community building: Students have learned about and accessed Salvation Army services including holiday hampers, where they were able to choose Christmas presents for their children. Our parents said this was a very meaningful experience.