Salvation Army Snack Program Combats Hunger in Cape Breton Classrooms

bin of snacks including five alive, granola bars, raisins
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School may look different this year, but hunger and bullying continue to be a reality for thousands of children. In Cape Breton, The Salvation Army’s ABC Snack Program is providing nutrition for children in need, without setting them apart in front of their peers.

Each September, The Salvation Army provides a bin filled with snacks to 19 schools across Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The program is designed so all children have access to the snacks and drinks from the bin. This method ensures children experiencing food insecurity aren’t bullied for taking part in the program.

“Each ABC bin is filled with juice, raisins, fruit cups, puddings, granola bars, fruit snacks, cheese and crackers and more,” says Nicole MacLean, community family services coordinator for The Salvation Army in Sydney. 

Throughout the year, The Salvation Army stays in contact with each school to keep the bins full, ensuring children in need always have a place to turn if they are experiencing hunger.

“Teachers and staff monitor the bins, and contact us when they need to be refilled,” Nicole explains.

The ABC Snack Program began more than 20 years ago.

“Teachers and staff monitor the bins, and contact us when they need to be refilled”

“When we were approached by a teacher of Sydney Academy with a concern that teenagers were hungry, we contacted the high school with a proposal to purchase food for the students—snacks and lunch food they could heat up,” says Nicole. “Now, this program runs in Sydney Academy and Memorial High School in Sydney Mines.”

Across Canada, Salvation Army school feeding programs are ensuring children are set up for success in the classroom and giving struggling families one less thing to worry about.

By Angela Rafuse