KELOWNA, B.C. – In an effort to make help make a difference in their community, one Kelowna restaurant started an outreach effort called ‘The Bag Lunch Program’.
Every Monday, Salted Brick staff and volunteers arrive at the restaurant first thing in the morning to make dozens of lunch bags filled with a sandwich, baked good, apple, and a juice box. They then make their way out the door to offer the food to the homeless.
To date almost 2,000 sandwiches have been delivered to those in need. Bag Lunch Program Co Founder Jason Leizert says a simple meal in the morning can make all the difference.
“I think there’s a need in every community,” says Leizert. “You see so many people on the streets and everyone gets kinda upset when they’re not eating and everything. I think once you have something first thing in the morning your day is so much better.”
After seeing such a need in the community, the Salted Brick team is now looking to expand the program. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $15,000 to go towards a food delivery bike to offer lunch bags daily.
“What we want to do is we want to offer the bag lunches, and then we want to start a token program like Save On Meats does in Vancouver,” he says.
The token program will allow customers to obtain a token with the purchase of food to then be handed out to the homeless which they can exchange for a bagged lunch.
Leizert says it would allow people in the community to do their part in giving back.
“I think you need to give back to your community,” says Leizert. “I think the better you make your community, the better it becomes and more people get involved in stuff like this.”
Many local businesses have donated food to the program such as Sysco, SunRype, Harker’s Organics and Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate. Bag Lunch co-founder Katie Stene says the support the program has received has been instrumental.
“I think it’s pretty incredible considering it was just a spur of the moment idea,” says Stene. “We’ve had so many people reach out, it really says something about the Kelowna community for sure.”
To date the Salted Brick has raised just over $4,000 for the delivery bike.
To donate to The Bag Lunch Program you can visit their GoFundMe page here.