As Firefighters, we respond to a variety of different emergencies; fires, car accidents or medical distress. However, there is one emergency that needs everyone’s attention and that is the unfortunate reality that some children are going to school with no breakfast or lunch.
In 2013, the Coquitlam Firefighters decided to respond to this growing emergency by starting the Breakfast and Snack Program. After researching and meeting with SD43 faculty, various school administrations and PACs, it was decided to launch a Breakfast and Snack Program at Rochester Elementary.
The program is based on the identified “vulnerable” rate of children attending the school, as well as the ability of the school itself to run a sustainable program of a certain size. Having a school with faculty that is committed and passionate to run a program is the key. The Coquitlam Firefighters Charity provides funds needed to purchased the goods and equipment necessary to run the program.
Over 8,500 breakfasts and 4,500 snacks served in 2016/17.
Over the past two years, we have been able to provide funds for meals and equipment to two schools, and there is a tremendous need to reach more. The program is now running in three schools in Coquitlam.
The other key to the program is it's fully inclusive, open door policy. Meaning every child within the school is allowed to access the program. This not only prevents a feeling of segregation but actually promotes a tremendous sense of community for these children.
“One morning, after a night shift we (firefighters) went to the school to help serve some pancakes. We arrived early, and we were surprised to see students waiting for the doors to open so they can help set up and feel a part of this little family that’s been created. It was heart warming to see.”
J. Martins, Firefighter
We are looking to expand this program to help more kids in the community. We wish to speak with school faculty members or PAC members interested in launching a program or access to funding for an existing program.
Please send us an email via our contact page.
To help raise funds and awareness of this program, we are hosting our annual Charity Gala on October 27. Tickets on sale soon.