St. Mary’s school was one of the first schools to benefit from the Community Lunch Box Program many years ago. It started off with lunch then apples recently adding a breakfast program that is inclusive of St. Mary’s entire student body. “It’s hard to remember a time when there wasn’t a program,” says Ashley Floyd, St Mary’s principal. She adds that “It has an amazing impact on the students in our school; we are able to provide it five days a week.”
The breakfast program offers a diverse range of foods including cereals, raisin bread toast, muffins, and fruit. For lunch the menu is equally varied with cheese, crackers, sausage slices, granola bars, yogurt tubes and oranges on the menu. They are offered on a rotational basis. During lunch time the teachers take a basket from the CLB fridge to the office. Students are then able to take what they need.
Since the Community Lunch Box Program has been introduced to St Mary’s school, Ashley along with Sandy Whitten, vice principal, have noticed a significant change in that the students are fed and are more able to learn. It has helped build positive relationships between students and school staff. “It’s an opportunity to give them that welcome every morning,” says Sandy. She further added that St Mary’s appreciates all the help that the Community Lunch Box Program provides with the breakfast and lunch program. “By Thursday students complain if there are no apples left.” All things considered, that’s not a bad complaint to have. It clearly shows that the program is making a positive contribution in the school.
As a community partner St Mary’s school supports the CLB by donating funds towards the Lunch Box Program and creates an opportunity for private donations by parents by sending letter home with program overview. Many teachers and staff attend and support the Community Lunch Box Program’s yearly gala.
It is without a doubt that the CLB has helped many and is a one-of-a-kind program that will continue to assist those in need indiscriminately without judgment or reservation for many years to come.