A school snack program that started with local firefighters donating healthy snacks to one Burnaby elementary school and two community centres in 2005 now sees the delivery of tens of thousands of snacks to 30 schools and four community centres four times a year.
The Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society was at it again this month, loading up firetrucks with boxes of granola bars, juice boxes, instant oatmeal, microwavable pasta and more for delivery to schools around the district, so educators have something on hand to give hungry students.
“I hate to say it, but there are kids out there that don’t bring lunch to school,” Burnaby Firefighters Local 323 vice president Scott Alleyn told the NOW, “and, by providing this program, it allows them to focus more on their learning than being hungry at school.”
In all, Alleyn estimates 50,000 individual snacks are now delivered every two to three months – all paid for by the firefighters’ charitable events, including their annual golf tournament and firefighters’ annual ball.
The snacks are organized and delivered by both on-shift and off-duty firefighters volunteering their time in a bid to give back to the community, according to Alleyn.
“A lot of the time, the community just sees us going lights-and-sirens to calls,” he said, “and we don’t necessarily get that connection. This allows our firefighters to have a better connection with the community, the students and the staff in the schools and the youth centres.”
Recently, the firefighters have also started to donate food for families to use over the longer school breaks, according to Alleyn.
For more about the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society, visit www.burnabyfirefighters.com.