On behalf of Red Deer Public Schools, our staff, and our students, I would like to thank Loaves and Fishes for their many years of service to our students and their families. They have provided bag lunches for more than 200 of our students each day, students who would otherwise have gone hungry. It is impossible to quantify the impact this has had on learning, but we know it has been great.
We believe that each student who walks into any one of our schools, deserves every chance to be successful. Although we recognize that we can’t be all things to all students, the fact is that they are with us for most of their day. This provides us with the opportunity, and we would argue also the responsibility, to respond to their needs. Because of that belief, we actively seek to partner with others in our community who can best meet some of those needs so that our teachers can do what they are trained to do — help students learn and grow.
Red Deer Public Schools welcomes more than 10,000 students through its doors each and every day. We have 1,345 staff members, on a full- or part- time basis. It is a large organization that has a huge impact on our community. We are growing and teaching a generation who must be prepared to live in and lead our world in its rapidly changing environment. We cannot afford to give these students anything other than our best. Loaves and Fishes Benevolent Society has helped make this happen, one lunch at a time, one student at a time.
It is easy to see situations in our world which are unfair, or need addressing. The hard part is to respond to those complicated and complex problems which are facing kids today. Loaves and Fishes has certainly done their part in responding.
It is with regret that we say farewell to this longstanding ministry. We want to issue a heartfealt thank you to its founders, Gertie and Everett Clark, to the countless numbers of supporters and volunteers who have contributed over the years to the school lunch program, as well as to its current board of directors and staff. You have all contributed to the success and well being of thousands of students. We simply cannot thank you enough.
We are grateful that The Mustard Seed has stepped in to continue with this important work in our community and we look forward to a new partnership with them. But to all who have been part of Loaves and Fishes over the years, we say farewell. You have exemplified your mission, taken from Matthew 25:35, “I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
You are leaving us better for having served us.
Red Deer Public Schools