The Kamsack Family Resource Centre (KFRC), a SIGN program which serves the community northeast of Yorkton, is undertaking a two-pronged food security and nutrition program starting in June.
Both programs are made possible by a grant from the federal Emergency Food Security Fund, administered by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. The fund has provided $200 million for projects across Canada in the past year as part of Covid-19 assistance measures.
Kamsack Family Food Security
This program provides food on an as-needed basis to families who have been referred to the program through various social service and community agencies in Kamsack, including schools, churches, social services, public health, the town office and others who work with families in need.
Any family with children aged 10 and under is eligible, but they must have to have a physical Kamsack address.
“Until we know what the demand is, and what food supply we will have to distribute, we have to limit it to Kamsack residents only,” Andrea Verigin of the KFRC explains. “That may change in the future, and we’ll let people know, but for now that’s how it is.”
The program starts in early June. “That’s all we can say for sure at this time, because we don’t know when it will end -- when the funding is all used up we will have to stop,” Megan Peters of KFRC points out. “We hope to continue well into the fall and maybe to the end of the year, but that will all depend on when the money runs out.”
Fresh food will be purchased every week, mainly milk, baby formula, eggs, bread, fresh produce, and other food items that can be easily stored and require little preparation. Local retail stores and food producers will be invited to also contribute food to the program.
The grant allows KFRC to purchase food grade storage equipment. In May, KFRC staff toured the Salvation Army food bank in Yorkton where they learned what equipment is required, and how to best store food items, especially those that require special treatment.
Once approved to receive emergency food, family members can pick it up at KFRC at the Crowstand Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 am and 4 pm. Before coming to pick up food, they are asked to call 306-542-1010, or call/text 306-590-8070 or 306-590-7535 so staff can arrange for the no-contact curbside pickup.
Kamsack Family Meal Kits
This initiative provides meal kits consisting of a recipe, the ingredients, and educational information regarding healthy eating and health outcomes for the family. Recipes are for healthy foods that are easy to access locally and easy to prepare for busy families and children.
The meal kit information will be available on social media so it is easy to access and will also be provided in printed form with the kit.
“We’re hoping families will keep the recipes and use them over and over, and maybe create their own varieties,” Andrea says.
This program, too, is only available to families with children aged 10 and under who have a physical address in Kamsack. The number of meal kits available each week is limited to 20, so advance registration is required.
Families can register by contacting KFRC on Facebook, or by completing the form below.
The first sign-up day is May 31, with the first kits available June 3. Registration must be done before 3:30 pm on Mondays and kits will be ready to be picked up Thursdays at 4:30 pm.
Families will be encouraged to pick up their meal kits curbside but they will be delivered if transportation is a barrier.
Kits will be available weekly in June, but that will be reviewed after the first month to make sure staff can handle the demand.
Please note that Family Meal Kits will not be available in July due to limited staff resources and previously-scheduled vacations and events, but will resume in August and continue while funding lasts.
Updates will be posted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KamsackFamilyResource, and on this page.
Photo above: Megan and Andrea received a shipment of boxes for packing food and meal kits donated by Jay's.
A year ago, the Emergency Food Security Fund, administered by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, was announced by the federal government as part of the Covid-19 measures.
It provided up to $100 million to Canadian food banks and other national food rescue organizations to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity due to the pandemic.
The government worked with Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, Breakfast Club of Canada, Salvation Army and others to distribute funding to regional agencies that have an established food aid distribution network for providing food to those in need.
In October last year, the government announced an additional $100 million to further support food security.
The Kamsack Family Resource Centre applied to Second Harvest and was approved to receive funding for its two-part project.
The staff at the both the Yorkton Early Years Family Resource Centre and the Kamsack Family Resource Centre have previously been provided with food for distribution by Second Harvest, an innovative organization operating across Canada which prevents unnecessary waste of edible food and sets up ways redistribute and use surplus food from stores and restaurants.
By connecting food donors and non-profit organizations, their food rescue programs take edible, delicious food and ensures it doesn’t end up in landfill.
More information about this program can be found at www.secondharvest.ca.
If you wish to apply for a Family Meal Kit, fill out the form below. The registration is good only for the next Meal Kit. The number of kits available is limited, so we cannot promise that everyone who applies will receive one.
Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours
83 North St. Yorkton SK S3N 0G9 | Tel 306-783-9409 | Fax 306-786-7116