Many households around BC are struggling to feed their kids regular, nutritious meals. Schools often provide meal programs for kids during school hours – but still see kids arriving hungry. BC Healthy Communities is helping community partners to work together to try new ways of ensuring students are getting the nutritious meals they need outside of school.
BCHC has provided collective impact coaching to the City of Surrey over the past year. Several innovative groups and initiatives have grown from this facilitated process including Food Security-Seeds of Change Surrey.
The Food Security Seeds of Change Surrey group helped bring an innovative student meal program – the Starfish Pack Program - to Surrey this past September. Through the program students receive a backpack at the end of Friday full of food (two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners along with snacks) for each participating child.
This program, initially tried out in Abbotsford is funded by volunteers and has a proven record of improving student attendance. One reason may be that students must return on Monday to have the backpack refilled.
Collective impact brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change. It can support work across sectors to move the needle on urgent and complex community issues and change population level outcomes on an specific issue. Listen to a past BCHC webinar recording on collective impact here.
Read more about the Starfish Pack initiative on page 17 of in the Surrey Leader here.
photo courtesy Surrey Leader.