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Vendredi, 01 mars 2024

Healthy eating for better learning: school lunches for Verdun kids

A new contribution to Explore, Toujours ensemble organization will offer a new column of personal, academic, and social support for our young people in Verdun

Christine Vallières
Consultancy, philanthropic development and communications.

Healthy meals are recognized as a key factor in children’s academic success. However, in Quebec, nearly one child in six – or close to 16 % of children – goes to school hungry. In Verdun, many families, and single-parent households experience food insecurity, impacting how kids learn and grow.

Melissa Bellerose, Executive Director of Toujours ensemble in Verdun, explains that good nutrition can be crucial preparation for good learning. « At Toujours ensemble, we know that children who eat better, learn better, she says. That is why we offer an affordable school lunch service for kids living in low-income households. For some kids, the lunch we serve here is often their main meal of the day. »

Since 1991, Toujours ensemble has been running a school lunch service in partnership with the Centre de services scolaires Marguerite-Bourgeoys. In addition to providing a complete and balanced meal each day, the service helps kids stay attentive in class after lunch and gives them the chance to discover new foods and socialize in a warm environment. Families pay a monthly fee of $25. The service can accommodate up to 50 school children from kindergarten to Grade 6.

The service has since expanded to add meals delivered directly to local elementary schools, in collaboration with Cantine pour tous. Overall, more than 80 young people can benefit from the service.

Christine Vallières, Toujours ensemble’s Development and Communications Officer, says the support of donors and the community is crucial to maintain the school lunch service: “We are so grateful to our donors, volunteers, and partners, many of whom have been supporting us for over 20 years. Their contribution has a real impact on the lives of kids in Verdun.”

Toujours ensemble recently welcomed staff from the Caisse de L’Île-des-Sœurs-Verdun, who volunteered to help serve meals, chat, and take part in activities with kids over lunchtime. « La Caisse is fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer at Toujours ensemble, says Isabelle Lorente, Director of Communications and Community Engagement. Our commitment to helping young people is part of our values, and one of the priorities our members want us to invest in. Many thanks to the team for welcoming us. »

Registration is open for Toujours ensemble’s school lunch service. For more information about Toujours ensemble, its school lunch service and more: Telephone: 514-761-7867.

Site de Toujours ensemble

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