Some of the surprise provincial funding that was dropped into the laps of the Abbotsford school district will now go into the pockets of parents who need it.
The funding, from the ministry of education and child care, was intended to ease the burden of rising costs of living for families. Each district received an amount based on enrolment, and told to increase food security and support students, parents and guardians with affordability concerns.
Abbotsford has created the Student & Family Affordability Fund. Those who need help providing meals or need food security, school fees, supplies and/or clothing can apply to the fund. This is done by speaking with the school’s principal, and all inquiries and funding is kept private and confidential.
The district reached out to the community for suggestions and there were 950 participants on their Thought Exchange site online.
The district received $1,924,000, and is allocating $1,050,000 to their new fund. Another $300,000 will go toward school meals, $250,000 to the mobile food pantry, and $200,000 to the Indigenous department.
They will also be putting $100,000 toward the district’s backpack program, which saw historic needs this summer. That funding will be divided between the next two school years. Finally, $24,000 will go toward this year’s holiday hampers.
Those funds will be in addition to already-budgeted money and will equal expansions in the programs.
The amounts being given to each school for the fund is listed on the Oct. 4 agenda on the district website, and is being divvied up based on numerous factors, including enrolment and the 2021 Social Service Index.
The schools receiving the most will be Abbotsford senior secondary ($103,448), W.J. Mouat secondary ($76,940), Abbotsford middle ($67,888), Bakerview Centre for Learning ($58,190) and Godson elementary ($54,310).
Other schools will only get a small amount, for example, Barrowtown elementary, Mt. Lehman elementary and King Traditional elementary will each get $1,293 of the funding.
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