KLFS distributes food according to a fair share agreement. Member agencies and schools receive a share of available bulk food monthly from the warehouse in accordance with the number of individuals they regularly serve.
Grab ‘N Grow Breakfast Program
In many instances, the breakfast program may be the only place these students receive fresh fruit or milk on a regular basis. Because it requires relatively little preparation, fresh fruit is an ideal way to introduce critical vitamins, fiber and other dietary requirements. It has raised the program to a new level and has inspired the students (especially the older ones) to take advantage of the program and actually eat a nutritious breakfast. It has made a profound difference in terms of behavior, attitude and concentration in class.
These programs take many forms, from full cooked meals in some schools to grab-and-go bags of cereal and granola bars in others. The common element to all will be the availability of milk and fresh, nutrition-packed fruit. In an age when we are all too aware of rising rates of obesity among our young people, a nutritious breakfast is an important alternative to junk food. By giving students a chance to try foods they may not otherwise have, the program will also open the door to a lifetime of healthy eating.
How the program works:
In the first week of the month, KLFS provides the schools with a supply of granola bars, cereal, juice boxes and various other non-perishable items. Every Monday KLFS purchases 2% milk and fresh fruit from our local Valu-mart store. The fruit is packed into 20 individual orders, which along with the milk are picked up by school volunteers.
Fresh Fruit Program
Our plan for 2017/18 is continue to focus our efforts specifically on the most vulnerable segment of those we serve: children. The most effective way to do this is to work with Lindsay area school breakfast programs that serve students from junior kindergarten through to Grade 12. Research has proven that children who have a nourishing breakfast can concentrate better and learn better, which benefits everyone. In many instances, their breakfast program may be the only place many of these students receive fresh fruit. Because it requires relatively little preparation, fresh fruit is an ideal way to introduce critical vitamins, fibre and other dietary requirements, whether it be an apple or banana for high school students grabbing a snack or chunks of cantaloupe and grapes for a primary student who came to school hungry. The Food Source purchases fresh fruit to distribute to school breakfast programs for 39 weeks each year and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Our experience thus far suggests that this program is the perfect way to introduce healthy food to those who need it most.
KLFS set up a weekly milk program several years ago in order to provide bags of 2% milk to member food banks and also provide a supply of 250 ml individual cartons to the school breakfast programs. The Dairy Producers of Ontario arranged to donate bagged milk each week for the food banks but that donation was greatly reduced- actually halved, in 2011/12. In order to keep up the supply KLFS has to purchase milk on a weekly basis to make up for this shortfall. The health benefits of milk are huge and offer important nutrients for all age groups making this a vital program.
For example an 8-ounce glass of milk provides the following goodness:
-as much calcium as 2 ¼ cups of broccoli,
-as much Vitamin D as you would get from 3.5 ounces of cooked salmon,
-as much potassium as a small banana,
-as much Vitamin A as two baby carrots and
-as much phosphorus as a cup of kidney beans
We are always working to increase the nutritional value of the food we supply and in order to do that we strive to provide more fresh or perishable foods along with the traditional non-perishable items. For 48 weeks of each year, KLFS provides dozens of fresh eggs to our member agencies who, in turn, assist a monthly average of 800 families.
The egg program is administered by our warehouse staff and supervised by our General Manager. Volunteers from each of our member agencies pick the eggs up at the warehouse when they come for their weekly/monthly food allotment and then distribute them to their clients.
The beauty of an egg is that it contains 14 essential nutrients that your body needs to start the day. There are many reasons to include eggs in our diet but the most important for children and adults alike are that they:
– are nutrient-dense
– improve concentration
– assist in brain development
– help protect eyes
– provide lasting energy
– help in weight management
– are a great source of protein
– taste good and are easy to prepare meals with
Shopping List Program (general food purchasing list)
In response to the community’s continual need for food through our member agencies (food banks, social service agencies) and the reduction in food received from reclamation sources, Kawartha Lakes Food Source has created the Shopping List Program. This program gives donors, whether individual, organizational, corporate or foundations, the opportunity to fund general food purchases – most of which are non-perishables. These foods include pasta, pasta sauces, fruit cups, puddings, a variety of beverages, pancake mix, peanut butter, soups, crackers, pickles, canned vegetables, canned meats, condiments, salad dressings, baby food, and many other nutritious and staple foods.
Generous funding to the Shopping List Program is used to purchase these foods from four major supermarkets throughout the region and brought to Kawartha Lakes Food Source by our Food Acquisition Committee volunteers. The Program is also supplemented by local supplies from foods stores and regular food drives. All these initiatives help to maintain the necessary inventory of food and fill the gap due to a large reduction in the reclamation food that we receive.
The Kawartha Lakes Food Source Community Gardens Program began 5 years ago as the need for fresh produce, in particular vegetables, became a growing concern. Today we have two locations for our gardens – one at the community garden at local Fleming College and two raised garden beds at our warehouse location. As a result of this initiative, our gardens (combined) produced over 500 lbs of vegetables in 2016. Beets, carrots, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes were the main harvested vegetables.
The KLFS Community Gardens provide a sustainable food supply for our member agencies food banks. It also provides new volunteer experiences for our dedicated volunteers including local students.
Currently, we also receive generous donations from our local farmers which allows us to provide a variety of in season vegetables to local food banks. In 2017, we expanded our gardens to 11 beds.