Skip to content

School district student aid budget boosted

Money allocated for 2024-2025 school year
In this file photo from 2023, Wendy Prebble is seen here with the two new ovens at Houston Secondary School use for its extensive food program. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)

School District 54 is getting an additional $100,000 for the school year beginning in September to further provide assistance to its more vulnerable students.

That’s on top of the $350,000 the district is already receiving each year to supplement comprehensive food and meal programs already underway in schools. It means the district will have $450,000 in total for student assistance.

The additional money comes from a $20 million allotment announced by the provincial education and childcare ministry earlier this month.

“We will receive an additional $100,000 given that we are a very small district for student and family affordability funding,” said school district secretary-treasurer Dave Margerm.

The additional money is meant to help students who need assistance to fully participate in school activities such as sports and cultural events either in school or after school and to purchase needed school supplies.

Money for food goes to breakfast and lunch programs and to food parcels taken home on the weekends.

“The current 2023-2024 year has provided the district $350,000 in food support funding,” said Margerm. “This has been allocated to in-school foods programs in each school to support breakfasts and lunches and supporting food for families over the breaks. Snacks during the school day are also included in school food programs.”

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic first revealed the need for assistance in providing food to students when schools were either closed or instructional hours curtailed.

A recent menu from Silverthorne Elementary in Houston had students enjoying a Monday breakfast of toast, egg wraps and cereal followed by a lunch of pasta and sauce.

Tuesday’s breakfast was oatmeal and berries, yogurt and cereal with shepherd’s pie for lunch.

Breakfast on Wednesday was waffles and toasted bagels with baked mac and cheese while on Thursday, students had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast and vegetable soup and buns for lunch.

Friday’s breakfast was pancakes and smoothies and pizza buns for lunch.

About the Author: Rod Link

Read more