Food For Thought needs help feeding children in need as the school year is fast approaching.

The produce grown in their 11-square-foot garden in the heart of Kelowna at Helen’s Acres helps, but demand still surpasses what they can grow.

“We have over 5,900 children in the Central Okanagan that are at risk of food insecurity, which is really hard to believe in a community that is as affluent as ours,” said Cheryl Hoffman, Food For Thought project manager.

“There are children going home and opening fridges and there’s no food there.”

Because of the pandemic, the demand for their services has only grown. Food For Thought has taken 30 schools in the Central Okanagan under its wing for their breakfast program and the rise in demand for its backpack program means that they will be helping 14 schools this September.

Food For Thought offers breakfast programs in Lake Country, Kelowna and West Kelowna, and its backpack program is available too, which sends children off for the weekend with a bag of healthy food for the entire family to enjoy.

The combination of grants and extra funding Hoffman applied for means that they have enough to run their breakfast program, but that does not apply for their backpack program.

“The need truly is for these most at-risk children in our backpack program,” said Hoffman.

“We need $150,000 to run the school year program and we want to expand that program and make sure that all the at-risk children have food to take home when they’re not in school and we have come up with about 20 per cent of that so I’m still looking for $120,000.”

With the count down now on to the new school year, the pressure is mounting for Hoffman and her team. Donations are being accepted on the phone 250-712-2007 or through their website hope for the

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