By Jensen, Randy on June 25, 2020.
LA Chefs Catering & Events and the Lethbridge Food Bank are teaming up during June to provide hundreds of children per week lunches during these difficult times, through the initiative Mindful Munchies.
Mindful Munchies lunch program started three years ago as a partnership between Lethbridge Food Bank and My City Care. Sept. 9, 2019 marked the start date of the third year for Mindful Munchies. The program provided 21 schools/agencies with nutritious supplements.
With the school closure due to COVID-19 Mindful Munchies went mobile, delivering food supplements directly to families. Over 820 children are receiving supplements on weekly basis. In addition to the food supplements children are receiving wellness activities in collaboration with multiple agencies.
LA Chefs has partnered with specific school lunch programs directly in the past but saw the opportunity to expand on the initiative through providing support for the program. With business slowing for LA Chefs because of COVID-19, they also discovered this would be a great opportunity for their staff to help beyond providing food.
“We are recalling some of our core staff to assist with not only the sandwich making – but also helping the food bank in other ways as well. We are bringing the staff back on the wage subsidy to allow them to ‘volunteer’ their time with the food bank. We are also looking for other local volunteer opportunities for these staff in the community – as a way to get them back to work, even though we do not have much on our end for them,” said Marci Stickel, owner of LA Chefs.
After the month of June, the support from the food bank to students will not stop.
“We have appreciated the partnership, receiving sandwiches for our children, and having LA Chefs staff give their time volunteering at our facility. For July and August, we would be rolling in the After the Bell program, which is healthy food packs for children in need over the summer. After the Bell is a Food Banks Canada initiative distributed through both local food banks,” said Maral Kiani Tari, executive director of the Lethbridge Food Bank.