When you crunch the numbers, the work of a dedicated group of volunteers really adds up to something special.


Northumberland Food For Thought (NFFT) knows this fact, and is throwing a celebration bash for volunteers and supporters who help out with 56 student nutrition programs at 34 schools across Northumberland County. NFFT’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Event takes place on Thursday, May 18, from 9:15 am to 10:45 am, at St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School (1050 Birchwood Trail) in Cobourg.



Approximately 180 people donate their time to help out with local student nutrition programs, which are designed to ensure students have the food they need in school. It is estimated that these volunteers contribute more than 7,000 hours each year to Northumberland Food For Thought. Put another way, this figure is equal to 292 days of total volunteer time commitment.


“Our volunteers are the essential ingredient to helping ensure students in Northumberland County are well-nourished and can learn to their full potential at school,” says Beth Kolisnyk, the Community Development Co-ordinator with Northumberland Food For Thought. “We are very fortunate to have such dedicated individuals, and are pleased to be able to celebrate their work.”


Student nutrition programs run differently depending on the school. Some are provided as full sit-down breakfasts before class, while others feature snack bins delivered to classrooms from which students can choose something to eat. Whatever form they take, all nutrition programs are free and open to any student. According to Kolisnyk, local students come to school hungry for many reasons, not just poverty. “Long bus rides, early morning practices and hurried morning routines can all be factors,” she notes. “Our volunteers see this need, and are there to assist with these programs.”


Northumberland Food For Thought is the non-profit partnership that co-ordinates school nutrition programs in the area. For more information or to support/volunteer with NFFT, call (905) 372-5071 or visit www.northumberlandfoodforthought.ca .


Participating Port Hope Schools include 

  • Beatrice Strong PS
  • St. Anthony’s Elementary School
  • Port Hope HS/Dr. M.S. Hawkins Senior PS
  • North Hope Centennial PS, Campbellcroft
  • Ganaraska Trail Public School
Story via HKPR Health Unit