ABC Snack Program Combats Hunger in Cape Breton Classrooms

by Maritime
Categories: 2020, News Archive

School may look different this year, but hunger and bullying is still a reality for thousands of children. In Cape Breton, The Salvation Army’s ABC Snack Program is providing nutrition for children in need, without singling them out in front of their peers.

Children who experience hunger are often unable to focus and are distracted during class. Across Canada, The Salvation Army’s school feeding programs ensure children are set up for success in the classroom during the school year.

The ABC Snack Program

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 at home are not singled out or bullied for taking part in the program.

“Each ABC bin is filled with juice, raisins, fruit cups, puddings, Nutri Grain and granola bars, fruit snacks, Rice Krispie treats, cheese and crackers and more,” explains 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.

“We took the initiative”

The ABC Snack Program began more than 20 years ago. Since then, The Salvation Army has expanded the initiative to 19 schools across the municipality. 

“We were approached by a teacher of Sydney Academy with a concern that the teenagers were hungry,” Nicole explains. “We took the initiative and contacted the High School with a proposal to purchase food for the students – snacks similar to the ABC bin, but also lunch food that they could heat up themselves. Now, this program runs in Sydney Academy and Memorial High School in Sydney Mines.”

The Salvation Army provides a wide-variety of programs and services across the Maritimes to help those experiencing food insecurity. Learn more

By: Angela Rafuse