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New Outreach Projects
 Isthmus Northumberland

Each food bag contains 8 non-perishable food items along with fresh fruit. 

IPatty Deitch, organizer for the program is filling food bags at St. Andrew's United Church

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Donations of non-perishable food items help manage the cost of providing food bags to local schools. 

Did you know that over the past year there has been a 15 % increase in food bank usage in Canada and a 35% increase since March 2019. (The Hunger Count, 2022) In New Brunswick, there was a 17% increase of food bank visits over the past year. Of this number, 1 in 3 are children; 33% of children depend upon food banks as their families face the challenge of food security. Food costs are rising and at the same time due to interruptions in supply chains, people are finding it more difficult to source affordable food. Canada’s Food Price Report, compiled by researchers from Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of British Columbia, predict that food costs will rise by another 5 to 7 percent in 2023 after going up more than 10% in 2022. The New Brunswick's 2021 Child Poverty Report Card provides a much more grim view of food insecurity for families and by extension, many children.

 

Isthmus Northumberland is a non-profit organization that helps children receive food over the weekend to provide them with some nourishment that allows them to return to school ready to learn. Isthmus Canada and all chapters are the only nonprofit organization to address childrens’ food insecurity on the weekend. This chapter of Isthmus Canada was established in August 2022 after partnering with Isthmus Moncton for six months in early 2022. We were inspired by the success of their program. Since their inception in 2012, Isthmus Moncton has steadily increased the number of children in their community that benefit from their program. Many schools that use this program report a significant drop in classroom and playground behavior problems, an increase in attendance as well as improvement in school grades. (Isthmus Moncton, 2022).

 

Isthmus Northumberland works with the school administration and educators to identify those children who will most benefit from the program. At present, we are partnering with two schools and volunteers pack the bags and deliver them to participating schools on a weekly basis. The bags that the children receive each Friday contain 8 non-perishable items (such as canned soup), individual serving of child-friendly food items as well as fresh fruit. Additionally, we strive to provide food that has nutritional value to support the growth and wellbeing of children.

 

The program would not be possible without our partnership with Mount St. Joseph Nursing Home as they do the food ordering for us and until recently, they have provided storage space and space for volunteers to pack bags. We are very grateful to them and their generosity. We are also grateful for in kind donations from local stores. 100% of the money we receive goes directly to supplying food for the children as we do not have overhead costs due to our wonderful partnership with Mount St. Joseph Nursing Home. We will continue partnering with the Mount for food orders but have been offered space at St. Andrew’s United Church to store our food and pack our bags. We are so grateful.

 

It would be our pleasure to meet with you, answer any questions you may have and discuss how you may be able to support us. Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Patty Deitch,

Coordinator and Volunteer,

Isthmus Northumberland,

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