The Daily Bread Project is an Anglican led program that teaches basic grocery
shopping and lunch making
skills to public school
students. The project
began in October 2011 as
a pilot at Greater Gatineau
Elementary School and
has been successful since.
Thanks to an annual
financial contribution from
the Diocese of Ottawa, its
parishes and other local
partners, once a week an
entire class of students at
participating schools goes
grocery shopping at local
supermarkets under the supervision of teachers, parents, Anglican volunteers,
and nutritionists deployed from regional health offices. Students are taught how
to shop for bargains, read food labels, and in broad terms know the difference
between "good" and "bad" food. Students then take the food they collect - which
is paid for by the Diocese and its partners - and return to their school where they
work together to make simple lunch
recipes that they share with their
classmates. The project targets child
poverty by operating in schools that
are flagged as being on the lesser
end of the socioeconomic scale. In
Quebec, the Ministry of Education
provides information on the level of
poverty in their schools by ranking
them on a 1 to 10 scale (1 being the
wealthiest and 10 being the most
impoverished) based on parental
income. The Daily Bread project targets schools that are rated 7, 8, 9 or 10 on the Ministry's scale, and in doing
so delivers a targeted approach. In the Ottawa Carleton District School Board
schools facing similar socioeconomic challenges are known as "Beacon Schools."
Why Daily Bread?
The Daily Bread project represents an instance where the Anglican Church is actively responding to a pressing societal need. Thanks to Daily Bread, the Diocese of Ottawa is now in a position where it can help teach children living in economically disadvantaged families how to make affordable, nutritious meals - an invaluable skill set in the fight to end cyclical poverty. Another positive aspect of this approach is that the potential stigmatization of economically disadvantaged children is greatly reduced when every child who attends a school or community centre is invited to take part in Daily Bread's grocery shopping and cooking lessons. Everyone learns, everyone benefits, and everyone has fun. No child is singled out as being "different" or "poor."
The Daily Bread Project is currently operating at three elementary schools in Western Quebec and at two community centres in Eastern Ontario. Individuals or groups who are interested in expanding the project to their community are invited to contact the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa for more information.
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