School is back in session again this year with August 31st being the first day for many students in Whitecourt. The Community Lunch Box Program was on the ball, with fridges fully stocked and ready to serve the students. It’s anticipated that over 45,000 apples, 30,000 breakfasts and 13,000 lunches will be consumed throughout this school year. A typical lunch consists of fresh carrots, crackers, yogurt, cheese, fruit and a dessert such as a granola bar.
Today I witnessed firsthand the difference that the CLB contributes to our community. I saw a little girl today who had no lunch, but thanks to the Community Lunch Box Program, she can learn on a full stomach. When she was handed her lunch her face lit up like 100 candles, pure joy radiated from her face. I could feel a sense of security knowing she will have a lunch on the first day and it will continue on to the last. Seeing this has further strengthened my conviction that programs like the CLB are an essential component in helping our community. It has normalized kindness and generosity.
The CLB has removed the stigma from asking for and receiving help. No child should have to ask for something that we take for granted –three wholesome meals a day. It’s a program that insures those that are in need are provided for with a healthy and nutritional lunch. Whitecourt is very fortunate to have such a program that works closely with our schools and assists with creating job opportunities. Learning, after all, doesn’t end in the classroom. CLB has enriched the lives of many, mine included.
It has provided a creative outlet for me to showcase my talent with writing and has led to my actual employment with the Whitecourt Star as a freelance writer. It has helped me fulfil my childhood dream- To write and share with the world at large, stories that matter and inform, because knowledge is power.
Its stories like this that make me fully believe in the power that the Community Lunch Box Program creates. It has brought a community together and together, the possibilities are limitless.