Langley Environmental Partners Society donates $19,000 to feed hungry students

Money will go towards Langley School District Foundation’s Food for Thought gift card program

Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) is joining the growing list of supporters that are helping fund Langley School District Foundation’s Food for Thought Program to feed students.

As a recognized Good Food Organization through Community Food Centres Canada, LEPS received a contribution of $19,000 in grocery store gift cards, each worth $50, through the Good Food Access Fund.

President’s Choice gift cards will be distributed in September, which will provide emergency food relief to 650 Langley families in lieu of in-school facilitated initiatives like the Starfish Backpack program.

Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation, specifically thanked Nicole Marples and LEPS for their huge support.

“The Langley School District Foundation is profoundly grateful,” Cairns said.

The director recalled the day the pandemic was declared in B.C. and what that meant for students who rely on food assistance from their school.

“March 17 is one of those days that will go down in memory,” she said. “Suddenly the world was thrown into a surreal environment that would change lives for ever after.”

“Langley School District foundation immediately thought of all the students who were relying on the Food for Thought Programs, who would no longer receive the meals. We knew we had to help.”

Nicole Marples, executive director of LEPS, said the society has been working with a number of community organizations over the past few years, through the Poverty Reduction Working Group to advance the concept of a Neighbourhood House and Community Food Centre for Langley.

“Becoming a Good Food Organization opened support and resourcing opportunities to support this movement,” Marples explained.

LEPS received approval to participate in the program in late 2019. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, LEPS was then invited to apply to the Good Food Access Fund.

“Using these funds, LEPS began working with local farms and community partners to purchase produce and distribute Local Harvest Bags to individuals and families in need,” she said. “Further opportunity with the Good Food Access Fund arose, specifically to apply for grocery gift cards.”

Marples added that LEPS took the lead on the application and was successful in securing the funds and is thrilled to be able to provide this service and support children and families in need.

READ MORE: Langley School District Foundation is fundraising with fountains

Despite the generosity of many Langley residents and businesses, Langley School District Foundation is still in need of funds to carry on their programs.

If people are interested in donating directly to the program, they can do so online at www.langleyschooldistrictfoundation.com on the Food for Thought page.

LEPS is engaged in a number of food security initiatives, including the Community Harvest Program, management of local Community Gardens, and the development of the Langley Learning Farm at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

People can also send cheques to Langley School District Foundation, 4875-222nd Street, Langley, BC V3A 3Z7.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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