School Food Programs a Major Priority for Winnipeggers, Study Finds
Terra Bay Food Services Steps Up to Address Food Security
WINNIPEG – A Probe Research Inc. study found that Winnipeggers are acutely aware of the challenges facing inner-city students and believe addressing these challenges should be a major priority. The study surveyed a diverse cross section of Winnipeg adults representative of the city’s population.
When asked which challenges were most critical, a third of respondents pointed to food security as number one, and poverty as a close second. Respondents also indicated that those who should be responsible for student well-being are not currently fulfilling these needs. For instance, 88% indicated that the provincial government should take responsibility, while only 30% believed they were doing so. Alternately, an overwhelming majority of respondents agree that teachers are doing their part to help students meet these basic needs.
Despite having a minimal level of understanding of the role of school trustees, respondents believe that trustees, school boards and school divisions should be responsible for meeting the needs of disadvantaged students. In fact, more than 70% said this would impact their vote for school trustee.
The Probe Research Inc. study was commissioned in advance of the 2022/2023 school year as a way of assessing the priorities of Winnipeggers and measuring their desire to see these issues addressed by schools, government and other public or private bodies. Terra Bay Food Services has also put together an Advisory Board of Winnipeg thought-leaders to help advise on programming and expansion. (List provided below).
The Founder of Terra Bay Food Services, Walter Schroeder said that while the recent increase in funding to the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba is a step in the right direction, we must go further in addressing the food security crisis happening in the city right now.
“While these grants cover a portion of food costs, it’s clear that the need is much larger. Schools need comprehensive, robust food programs that provide for every hungry child,” said Schroeder. “Winnipeggers want this. The study tells us that they care, they prioritize the well-being of inner-city children and want to see our leaders step up.”
Working closing with the Winnipeg School Division, the mission of Terra Bay Food Services is to help address the food security needs of Winnipeg’s North End schools. The Foundation has committed up to $3 million in Winnipeg each year on scholarships, merit awards, and fully funding Terra Bay Food Services and all of its programs. These programs include the cafeteria program at St John’s High School, which provides free and heavily subsidized meals to students as well as the student meal kit program, which provides weekly hampers to students and their families. In 2021, the Foundation also stepped up to cover a Winnipeg School Division budget cut to the milk subsidy program – committing up to $210,000 annually.
“We need to address food security and we need to do it now. Winnipeg’s most vulnerable families are being hit hard by rising food prices and household budgets can only stretch so far,” said Schroeder. “Schools are on the front lines of community challenges – they always have been. Effective school support programs create healthier, safer communities. We need to do better for these kids.”
A copy of the survey can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fnBIoWMHu6tDkB9uIJZBhSDEFisimsQX/view?usp=sharing
The Schroeder Foundation is dedicated to empowering youth and Indigenous communities across Canada. The Foundation also funds initiatives aimed at improving Canada’s healthcare system and promoting education. Learn more at www.schroederfoundation.org. Terra Bay Food Services, which receives funding from The Schroeder Foundation, addresses food security issues in Winnipeg’s North End.
Terra Bay Winnipeg Advisory Board:
Walter and Maria Schroeder, founders of The Schroeder Foundation
Devon Clunis, former Winnipeg chief of police
Tom Axworthy, academic, philanthropist and former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Janice Zamparutti, former educator and WSD administrator, Indigenous leader
Duane Brothers, educator and former Superintendent of Louis Riel School Division
Carole Vivier, former CEO & Film Commissioner of Manitoba Film & Music
Kent Dueck, Executive Director of Inner-City Youth Alive
Cheryl Gaudet, educator and administrator, Seven Oaks School Division
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