When schools close their doors for vacations — such as spring break — vulnerable inner-city children are more likely to not have access to a nutritious meal or educational activities, according to a Vancouver non-profit society.
The KidSafe Project Society runs free programs and services every weekday of the winter, spring and summer holidays at several inner-city elementary school sites.
"Kids rely on those meal programs that are happening during the school time, so for us to provide that continuity of care is quite critical for the most vulnerable kids in Vancouver," said Gerhard Maynard, the society's executive director.
Maynard said that in addition to breakfast and lunch programs, the society also organizes various day trips throughout the city for the children to learn more about topics such as science and the stewardship of nature.
"Kids that are a bit more affluent might have the opportunity to get ahead and do some exciting things [over the break]," he said.
"We know that [vulnerable] kids don't always have those kinds of opportunities.
"For us to be able to give them that opportunity to interact positively with their peers, to get outside, to go to the beach, to go swimming … it puts them ahead when they go back to school."
The society, which supports more than 450 children each year, is having its annual pancake breakfast during March break to thank its donors and other supporters in the community.
"That's an opportunity for our donors to meet some of the kids and see what's going on."
In the video above Maynard tells host Gloria Macarenko about the opportunities KidSafe provides to children in Vancouver.