School snack program helps Humboldt Public students learn through the day

HUMBOLDT — The Humboldt Public School is looking for more volunteers to service their school snack program.

Now a decade old, their program provides all students with a snack halfway through the morning, usually including three of Canada’s four traditional food groups.

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There are some unmet nutritional needs for some students, said Darlene Popoff, the vice principal.

“If kids come to school and they don't have breakfast, then that's all they're thinking about in the day: how hungry they are, how tired they are or how they don't have energy,” she said. “How are they supposed to learn if they don't have that?”

What’s more, the snack program provides students exposure to different foods they might not have had otherwise, said Grade 8 teacher Jola Pisz.

Popoff said the program helps calm everybody else down from recess.

“They can listen to the story, ask questions. It builds that community in your classroom. It's like having a family meal.”

Dedicated volunteers are needed to keep this program running by preparing the daily snacks and helping with some clean up afterwards, mentioned a flyer from the school posted throughout town.

“It’s not all that labour intensive. Sometimes it’s just chopping and things,” Popoff said.

Volunteer shifts begin around 8:45 every school day, and are no more than two hours. The commitment can be as little as one day a week.

Popoff said there’s a great benefit to know that you’re helping out all of these students. And it's a great way for parents to be involved in the school. Volunteership is open to anyone.

“It’s a great way to socialize and interact with the community,” Pisz said.

The program’s success has much to do with the support already received from the community, Popoff said.

“A lot of people in Humboldt, and businesses too, are really willing to look after our kids.”

The President’s Choice Children’s Charity, the Good Neighbor thrift store, the Brick, as well as parents have been fundamental in their donations to the school in the form of food, funds, and supplies.

Terry’s No Frills is a huge one, Popoff said.

“If we make the call out there for people to help, we'll usually get. They all understand that education is really important in Humboldt,” Popoff said. “Humboldt's pretty good that way.”

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