Taber’s Safe Haven provides meals for kids who learn at home
This is where Safe Haven came in. They offer a free meal program for anyone who needs an extra helping hand.
“We prepare lunches twice a week and deliver them twice a week, so there are two lunches each time, which is enough [food] for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday [and] Thursday, ”said Catherine Champagne, CEO of Safe Haven.
“The kids are kind of alone for Fridays, because normally it would be half a day anyway.”
Champagne said Safe Haven does not ask “eligibility questions” and that there is no financial requirement to be part of the program, noting that any family can enroll.
“We have an awareness program for children and young people [at Safe Haven], but they do not have to be clients of this program. “
Meal kits are being prepared on Monday and Wednesday mornings, this week being the first for the new service.
Champagne said that “we made our first delivery [Monday, May 10]which was over 80 lunches and to be fair the girls said there were quite a few deliveries where only the children at home responded [the door], choosing the breakfasts.
Deliveries are made safely, with all COVID-19 guidelines being followed.
When it comes to food preparation, Save Haven has a chef in the shelter who helps prepare the kits, alongside other team members.
“We have a sheltered chef who is amazing and cooks for all of our customers, so she makes fresh produce,” Champagne added.
“We put fruit [in the kits], veggies, fries because it’s pretty fun, and juice boxes, water, something specific like that, you know, kind of to keep it healthy, but with a little bit of treat in there too.
Champagne explained that Safe Haven’s main food supplier is Taber’s IGA. They also receive donations of money and food from members of the community.
Champagne said the program is not limited to Taber only, as the team provides the service to students outside of town.
“Our Taber Safe Haven has a fairly large service area. The closest shelters to us are Medicine Hat, Brooks and Lethbridge, so we kind of take the space in between, ”she said.
“We have a big service area that goes so far as to say, Warner to Bow Island, north of us as well, so we’ve got a pretty big service area.
Champagne added that one of its staff has created a map system outlining the most efficient routes to take to accommodate deliveries outside of Taber.
She said the entire Safe Haven team is thrilled the program is growing.
Families can contact Safe Haven by calling (403) 223-0483 or visiting their website here to register for meal service.