Red Deer Public Schools is donating $39,000 to the Mustard Seed’s School Lunch Program.

The Mustard Seed’s School Lunch program has helped reduce barriers for kids by providing 315 healthy lunches each and every day to 19 schools in Red Deer Public. The organization also makes and delivers lunches to schools in other divisions in the surrounding area. In the 2020/2021 school year, they made and delivered 78,297 lunches to students.

Every day between 3-9 volunteers are required to ensure the School Lunch Program runs smoothly. Various organizations also volunteer to bag snacks and vegetables.

“We are grateful for the support of the Mustard Seed’s School Lunch Program,” said Board Chair Nicole Buchanan. “By providing a nutritious lunch to our students, it allows them to be in a better position to learn, setting them up for success in the future.”

The donation to the Mustard Seed’s School Lunch Program comes after Red Deer Public received $250,000 in nutrition funding from Alberta Education to be used for breakfast and lunch programs.

“Once needs were met at each school in our Division, we felt this was an appropriate way to use the remaining funds as the Mustard Seed’s School Lunch Program directly impacts kids, ensuring they have the best opportunity to reach their full potential,” added Buchanan.

Byron Bradley, the Mustard Seed’s Managing Director of Central Alberta, said they are very grateful for Red Deer Public’s for this generous donation.

“We have seen a significant rise in demand in the program this school year compared to last. Our numbers are up over 25% already this year and unfortunately we broke a monthly record in October with 10,545 lunches, and this past Monday was a new daily record of 637 lunches across 49 schools in six Central Alberta communities,” said Bradley. 

The Mustard Seed is currently short on volunteer morning delivery drivers. If anyone is interested in volunteering you can call 403-352-8028 to sign up. Volunteers work one hour in the morning once or twice a month. 

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