Warm hearts help hot lunch program

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From left: Morinville Community High School Principal Todd Eistetter, No Frills owners Christ and Tracey Mansbridge, and food program facilitators Deborah Wood and Christine MacDonald pose for a cheque presentation from the local grocers. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – A local grocer and their customers have stepped up to help three Morinville schools make sure students have the fuel necessary to get through the school day. Chris and Tracey Mansbridge of No Frills presented Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools representatives with a cheque for more than $3,000 this week, monies that will be divided between programs at Morinville Community High School (MCHS), Ecole Notre Dame Elementary School and Georges H. Primeau School.

No Frills franchise owner Chris Mansbridge said each year the store is given an option to collect $2 donations for a local charity from customers at the till. “We always choose to go with the school because about 80 per cent of our employees are students from a school in Morinville or Sturgeon area,” Mansbridge said. “So we always try to give back what we can with what we are able to raise. We asked every customer if they wanted to donate two dollars to the hot lunch program, and with everyone’s generous donations we were able to raise $3,312.”

MCHS representative Deborah Wood said the schools were appreciative of the No Frills donation because the hot lunch program is important for the school and its students. The lunch meal includes a beverage, something hot, a salad and a desert on occasion. “The program is one that is able to support and assist students that are hungry,” she said, adding the lunch program also includes breakfast for some students.

The program has been in place for several years. A little over a year ago, the bagged lunch program changed to focus on hot lunches. “It’s home made,” Wood said. “There’s two of us at the school that cook and then we have two families from Morinville that have also volunteered to cook. We certainly appreciate the support from the people here at No Frills and those that do the cooking.”

Further food related giving

MCHS Principal Todd Eistetter said a recent donation from the Sturgeon Ag Society will be used for the school’s Urban Agriculture Program as well as providing four $1,000 scholarships for a student pursuing an agricultural education. “It’ll be a thousand dollars a year for a student who goes on to an agricultural program at the post secondary level,” Eistetter said.

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9 Comments

  1. As a supporter of Morinville Public Elementary School, this is a huge slap in the face to OUR kids. Interesting to know that only Greater St Albert Catholic School families shop at this store! I used to
    (read “USED TO”)shop there occasionally….NEVER AGAIN!

  2. I was also taken aback by this article. Makes me feel very sad that a local business who depends upon its local community to support them, has decided to only support those children who attend the Catholic schools in Morinville. Well guess what, Costco opens tomorrow and you have now lost my business as well.

  3. Will and Lori, has anyone from the public school approached them to see if they would do something similar for them? Unless I misunderstood they’ve been supporting the program with GSACRD for a few years now. Why should they stop supporting a worthy cause because you get your knickers in a twist without cause?

  4. Solution: volunteer for your child’s school hot lunch program and do the footwork to obtain donations. These things aren’t just handed out. You are right though, Costco is now open! Perhaps they will donate to the hot lunch program at MPES.

  5. It is a business owners prerogative to support or not support initiatives in the community. The hot lunch program is a worthy cause regardless of where it is held.

    MPES has multiple businesses and many people who support initiatives within its walls. Quite frankly negative comments discourage all contributors from involvement on either side.

    Personally I’m saving all my energy for the upcoming squabble over a public high school. That’s a far more important battle in my books.

    Regards,

    Thomas Kirsop

  6. Thomas, for once I couldn’t agree more. Negative comments that serve no purpose don’t encourage any kind of involvement from potential supporters for anything.

    Also, you should take all that saved up energy and direct it at the Provincial government if you’re looking for a public high school. If the numbers are there they should be building one.

  7. Interesting that Will has not been chastised for his comment, yet I was for mine (which was a reflection of Will’s comment, by the way).

    I am all for all donations that were made to any school. I do not feel that one school deserves more than another. It is great that GSACRD raised for their hot lunch program. It is great that MPES raised for equipment. It is great that GSACRD is sharing with MPES, as it should be. After all, these are all of our children and none should go without. I would not discriminate against donating if I knew it was for a school that my child did not attend. I donated to hot lunch for children in our community, not know where in specific it was going. I would not have been upset if it all went to MPES. We should just all work together and be happy with each other when we each accomplish something that is great, no matter what it is. Go Morinville!

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