Vancouver Firefighters Charities fire up the barbecue to celebrate a successful school year
Kids are seen eating during a barbecue put on by the Vancouver Firefighters Charities on June 11, 2019. (Steve Saunders)
Steve Saunders, CTV News Vancouver
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 3:07PM PDT
Sixty school kids were invited down to Vancouver's Firehall 9 on Victoria Drive to dig into a flame-grilled lunch.
Celebrity chef Wayne Sych and firefighter and chef Michael Varga were on hand to make sure none of the kids went hungry.
And that is something the Vancouver Firefighters Charities has been doing for a number of years. There are a total of 800 firefighters who donate their time and money through payroll deductions for their different charities.
In 2018, the payroll deductions raised over $140,000 for programs like Snacks For Kids, a nutritional program that ensured 300,000 food donations were made to 1,600 at-risk youth in 40 Vancouver schools. VFC say that children may come to school hungry but they don’t stay that way.
Another program is Streetfront Alternative which works with youth from Vancouver’s east side focusing on sports such as marathon running.
Most of these kids would rarely have travelled outside of Vancouver but now have been to Kilimanjaro, Patagonia and recently New Zealand.
Trevor Stokes, who runs the program, sees the changes this brings with these experiences.
“They come back from these places having done things that most people in their age bracket have never done," he told CV News, adding that “they come back as a new kid saying hey, the person you used to know, that’s not who I am...They’re filled with hope and opportunity.”
Trail Appliances is also helping by donating the barbecues used Tuesday for two schools to have after today’s lunch.
Vancouver Firefighters Charities have a lot of volunteers but are hoping that people can donate money to help continue the work they’re doing in their programs.