Mosaic Backpack Feeding Program: Helping Children When They Need It Most

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Major Doug Binner, Salvation Army Haven of Hope Executive Director; Greg Smith, Coronation Park School Principal; Charity Putman, Community Feeding Coordinator; Brad DeLorey, Public Affairs Director, The Mosaic Company

Major Doug Binner, Salvation Army Haven of Hope Executive Director; Greg Smith, Coronation Park School Principal; Charity Putman, Community Feeding Coordinator; Brad DeLorey, Public Affairs Director, The Mosaic Company

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Salvation Army welcomed special guests to their kitchen Friday, March 15th, 2013 to see first-hand an exciting new partnership with The Mosaic Company.  The Mosaic Backpack Feeding Program provides backpacks filled with nutritious food to at-risk elementary students, addressing the need for weekend nutrition programs in Regina schools.

Mosaic announced it has contributed $50,000 to fund the program, covering the cost of backpacks, weekly food, transportation and dedicated staff.

“This initiative provides children with food on weekends – a time when they ordinarily would be going without.” said Brad DeLorey, Director of Public Affairs for Mosaic. “We are helping fill a gap in the lives of families in need, by ensuring they have the nutrition required to be productive at the beginning of each school week.”

As part of Mosaic’s hands-on approach to community giving, the company will also give its employees an opportunity to volunteer with the weekly operations of the program.

Currently the backpack food program assists 19 families with plans to continue to grow.  The cost to feed a child over the weekend is just $20 with careful planning and bulk buying done through The Salvation Army.

“When a child receives consistent and proper nutrition it enables them to think clearly, succeed academically, and ultimately make good decisions,” says Charity Putman, Community Feeding Coordinator for the Salvation Army, Haven of Hope. “By partnering with Mosaic in distributing these backpacks to students at Coronation Park Community School we believe that we are not only feeding these children today, but investing in the future of a generation.”

Coronation Park School was chosen as the pilot school for the program.  Each Friday, wheeled backpacks filled with food are dropped off at the school and returned Monday. Teachers expect to see a noticeable difference in their student’s productivity on Monday and Tuesday mornings, as the food will improve a child’s health and spirit.

Coronation Park Community School Principal, Greg Smith, has found that some children often find themselves hungry at school, resulting in unproductive students. “With support in place for breakfast, lunch and snack programs, children are receiving the nourishment they need to learn and grow while at school. However, noticeable absenteeism and lack of motivation on Monday mornings led staff to question if some children were receiving adequate nutrition on weekends,” says Smith. “This program is going to make a major difference in the lives of our students,” he adds.

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