10-year-old donates to 'Food for Thought,' helping hungry kids

Helping end food insecurity

Sarita Patel

With schools having to shut their doors due to COVID-19, many children from low-income families are at greater risk of going hungry without access to breakfast programs. 

Hope for the Nations is a Kelowna-based NGO, that empowers children at risk "to become children of change" and since 2009, they've ran the 'Food for Thought' program with an aim to eliminate hunger in children.

“As of January, the BC Child Poverty Report designated that there were over 5,900 children in the Central Okanagan that were at risk of food insecurity,” said Cheryl Hoffman, program coordinator for Food for Thought. 

They program run at 30 schools within School District 23, provides a breakfast program and a backpack program — where vulnerable students take food home with easy to follow recipe cards.

Hope for the Nations has now received a plot from the Kelowna-based Legacy Foundation, allowing the charity to build a community garden.

“We’re able to design planters that are wheelchair accessible, so people with special needs, seniors can come and volunteer and spend time in our garden and we’re going to grow flowers and food that we can sell and give to children in our backpack program.”

Ten-year-old Madden Coble visited the garden when the team was building the area and quickly realized she needed to help. 

“She had come one-time when we were putting in our irrigation and she had volunteered her time to pick rocks and do a bit of digging in the earth and she really understood at ten years old what it meant for children of a similar age to be hungry,” praises Hoffman. 

Coble started an impromptu bottle drive and raised just under $200 for the program and brought her donations in person to the team on July 30. 

“It was just so heartwarming to hear about this!” added Hoffman. 

The future grade-five student loves watermelon and ice cream as her mom, Janelle describes. 

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