Chester Area Middle School is embarking on an exciting food journey in February; one where every student will have free lunches for the whole month.
Cafeteria Manager Sue LeBlanc had the idea and worked hard to make it happen. It started with sharing the idea with school administration and staff.
Then to set things in motion and acquire the funds to make the Well Fed Students Initiative happen, the school invited community stakeholders and parents to a presentation in October. Guests were fed and the idea of free lunch month was introduced.
From there Sue applied for grants from the Municipality and Community Wellness Fund and received donations from the SAC, private donors and parents.
“Money and/or food for lunches is a daily conversation in some households,” says LeBlanc.
“I want to demonstrate through the Well Fed Students Initiative that we can feed our kids well with healthy food for not a lot of money. Through the generous help of many volunteers, which keeps the cost per student, per day low, and the hard work of the cafeteria staff, we can make it happen.”
LeBlanc is also donating her time throughout the month of February as a personal commitment to the initiative.
CAMS Principal Joyce Veinot-Gates looks forward to February.
“We are very excited about this project,” she said.
“This initiative/vision has been driven by the passion of Sue, to make sure all kids at CAMS have equal access to food at school by providing free food for a month. Sue has put in a tremendous amount of volunteer time to bring this vision a reality and we know this will have a positive impact on our students and families. We are also very grateful for our generous donors.”
In addition to the free lunches that this initiative will provide, the school will also offer a free breakfast and recess snack.