Fredericton couple donate entire kitchen to student hunger program
When Sandy Kitchen-Brewer decided to join her daughter volunteering at a community kitchen to help make lunches for students going hungry, she had no idea so much need existed.
More than 420 sandwiches later it hit her.
She saw that was just one morning's work in Fredericton's community kitchen. It included bagging sandwiches, fruit and granola bars for delivery to schools in the city.
Sandy Kitchen-Brewer (left) volunteers with students Hanna Lanteigne (middle) and Emma Connors (right) in the new building she and her husband, Earl donated to the Student Hunger Project. (Shaun Waters/CBC)
That night she convinced her husband, Earl to come along the next time. The following week he showed up to pack lunches and he was just as surprised by the extent of need among local students.
That's when Sandy says the couple decided it was time to do more than lend a hand. She and her husband decided to make a donation of a portable with kitchen equipment to the program.
"We just became very passionate about it because it's so basic and grassroots, just the basic need of a child to be fed and go to school," Kitchen-Brewer said.
"You know you can't learn on an empty tummy, you just can't. And I think if you talk about leveling the playing fields for students going to school, this is one of the basic ways to do it."
It's been just over a year since that moment and in that time the Brewers have been meeting with management at Fredericton's Community Kitchen and with the staff running the Feed the Lions program at Leo Hayes High School.
"Really, we just wanted to help and find out exactly what they needed, what was important to them, what they needed to continue, and they said they needed space," Kitchen-Brewer said. "So we brainstormed about it and came up with this building concept. It took about a year to get everything done, and here we are."