Food for thought
Rotary Club makes donations for food programs at local schools

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Feb 14/00) - The change in students is remarkable when they have food in their bellies, says Joamie School principal Anna Delaney.

Delaney was speaking at a Rotary Club lunch last week after three of Iqaluit's schools were presented with $3,000 cheques to be used for school food programs.

"Every morning we have between 10 and 12 students who need to eat and this donation will certainly help," she said.

Similarly, Aqsarniit middle school principal Peter Geike said the money will go a long way to providing healthy breakfasts and snacks for his students.

"Right now we have a small breakfast program in place and most of the responsibility lies with the students to run it. The money from the Rotary Club will carry us through right until the end of the year."

Geike says several students are hungry in the mornings for a variety of reasons.

"A lot of times the students sleep in or leave without eating and sometimes food just isn't available."

In January, the Rotary Club decided to donate the money to the schools after several members expressed an interest in ensuring food was available for hungry students.

"We want to see healthier and happier kids in the schools," said Rotary Club president John Matthews.

"The money is for food programs and the schools will best utilize it to help the students."

The money is from partial proceeds from the Monday night TV bingo sponsored by the Rotary and Elks clubs.

"A lot of the money from the bingo is for long-term projects, but we wanted to spend some of it now. We contacted the schools and three of them responded that they would like assistance," said Matthews.

The two schools that turned down the offer say they already have successful food programs in place.

Nakasuk principal Peter Hough says the majority of students appear to be well fed.

"We moved our funding to the Sailivik Centre and now the John Howard Society has it taken care of," said Hough.

"If students are hungry we make sure they go over there and get something to eat."

Hough does say, however, that the Rotary Club's donation is a great contribution to the kids in Iqaluit.