Nutrition partners find ways to keep feeding Niagara's hungry during COVID-19 shutdown

April 24, 2020

#Essentialservices: Distributes $250,000 worth of grocery store cards amid fundraising challenges

by Mike Zettel


Nutrition partners


Niagara Nutrition Partners program manager Jessica Stephenson holds a bundle of gift cards in front of the District School Board of Niagara education Centre in St. Catharines. - Niagara Nutrition Partners Photo

In the days before the threat of the coronavirus forced the shutdown of nearly all aspects of the economy and society outside the home, they were a reliable source of nourishment for thousands of children who would otherwise go to school hungry.

But under these abnormal circumstances, volunteers with Niagara Nutrition Partners are obviously not in the region’s schools, which have been closed since March break, and are no longer directly providing breakfasts, lunches and snacks to some 17,000 children.

With already-struggling families being further stretched by parents being out of work, NNP was committed to find another way to help.


NNP program manager Jessica Stephenson said they reached out a group called Food for Kids, which essentially picks up where they leave off, feeding children on weekends and over the summer, to see if there was a way to supplement their efforts without duplicating them.