WCHS Receives $18,000 for Its Breakfast Program

Grade 12 student, Eva Kreutz, helps Mrs. Carmen Wasylynuik prepare breakfast items for students at WCHS

Wetaskiwin Composite High School received some great news at the end of January. The Breakfast Club of Canada informed the school that they will be awarding WCHS $18,000 with $16,000 in cash and $1,900 in Sobey’s gift cards. Mrs. Carmen Wasylynuik, the Foods Teacher at WCHS, provided some history of the application process, “Nicola Singer, the former Foods Teacher at the school, applied for this grant two years ago. The process to receive funding takes a long time since so many schools apply for this grant all across Canada.”

When asked what the grant money will be used for, Mrs. Wasylynuik indicated that the funding will really help the school provide healthy breakfasts to students. With approximately 400 students accessing the program on a daily/weekly basis, the ability to provide healthy food to the students at WCHS becomes a reality. “We have to ensure all foods are individually wrapped, and believe it or not, with the extra money, we are able to buy packaging that aids in the promotion of healthy eating. Large scale use of baggies might sound like a simple thing, but students are open to eating more fruits and vegetables when these are peeled, cut and ready to eat. The promotion of healthy foods is a requirement of the grant,” says Mrs. Wasylynuik.

In the past, WCHS provided more prepackaged foods such as cereal and granola bars. With the newly available funds, more nutritious foods can be provided to students. Wasylynuik says, “Foods such as apples, oranges, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, fresh bagels and milk, can be served daily free of charge.”

When asked who helps prepare all of this, Mrs. Wasylynuik proudly states, “I have some very hard- working devoted students who come every day and help with this valuable cause!” Last semester, Bree Howard and Makenna Tabler, both Grade 11 students, participated in WCHS’s Work Experience program. By working each day, students get the opportunity to accumulate hours in exchange for high school credits. During Semester 2, Eva Kreutz, a Grade 12 student at the school, helps with the daily preparations. “I couldn’t do it all without them,” Wasylynuik says. “They are so passionate about this worthwhile cause.”

At the end of each week, the school may have leftovers. Oftentimes, the program will provide food hampers for families in need. “Teachers will email me regularly,” says Wasylynuik. “I often hear about students who need food for themselves and their families.” Ensuring nothing goes to waste, Wasylynuik says, “We do what we can to help anyone in need.”

Financial support for the breakfast program comes from many sources. WCHS staff members make yearly donations to the program, as do local businesses in the community. The Breakfast Club of Canada’s donation will definitely ensure that students continue to get healthy foods as they come to school each day. With nutritious breakfasts and snacks available, students are better able to take on a full day of learning.

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