Behind The Scenes: Nutrien Food On The Move In Regina, SK

by blairmalaz
Categories: Prairie News

The Nutrien “Food on the Move” program continues to fill the summer nutrition gap for children who rely on the feeding programs provided by schools. This initiative provides nutritional lunches daily, Monday through Friday, in neighbourhoods in Regina and Saskatoon, SK. It’s a big job that would be impossible without the help from Nutrien and Salvation Army staff and volunteers. The Salvation Army Haven of Hope employee, Nathan McLean manages this program and the distribution of these lunches in Regina.

“It’s a big commitment for everyone involved: for Nutrien, for our faithful volunteers, and for our staff here at Haven of Hope. It takes a lot of hard work and coordination to get the program up and running and to hum along smoothly.”  Nathan McLean, Community Ministries Coordinator, The Salvation Army Haven of Hope.

Nathan and his team work on choosing locations around Regina, assessing where the greatest need is, planning routes/times, collaborate with other community-based organizations, prep the lunches, and recruit and schedule volunteers. All that is needed even before you load the van. Nathan’s team also works with Community Feeding Associate, Denise Pederson and together, they oversee the whole process.

“A lot of work goes into getting these lunches into the right, little hands.  We typically have 4 volunteers, along with two paid staff, that are involved each day the lunches go out. 2 of those volunteers are working away in the kitchen from 8am-12pm preparing the lunches. Then we have another 2 volunteers who load up the van and distribute the lunches from 11-3pm.”

With so much to do, Nathan admits this program couldn’t happen without members of the community donating their time. Every day, he is amazed by their positive attitudes and how they tackle each job with such vigour. It makes the task more enjoyable and happy to see them every shift. Heading out on the road with such a positive outlook, the smiling faces of the children when they receive their lunches is icing on the cake.

“To see even the smallest glimmer of hope brighten someone’s day, makes all the planning and organizing worth every second. To me, this is what The Salvation Army is all about: bringing light into dark places and Christ’s resurrection life into places of death and despair. And it all starts with making a sandwich.”