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A new hub kitchen officially opens at Millidgeville North School in Saint John on May 31, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

New hub kitchen opens for school food programs

By Brad Perry Jun 2, 2023 | 7:00 AM

School breakfast and lunch programs throughout the Saint John region now have a new ‘first-class’ distribution hub in the city.

The Anglophone South School District officially opened its new hub kitchen at Millidgeville North School on Wednesday.

Erica Lane, the district’s community engagement coordinator, described it as a “monumental day” for the community.

“This has been a dream of ours in the district for quite some time. We just really weren’t at the time or place to do it,” said Lane.

“With COVID, we were pushed into it as we funnelled our volunteers out of our schools and into a central location.”

It took a significant amount of time and work to make the hub kitchen a reality, said Lane. The existing kitchen space was part of the original school, which opened in the late 1960s.

“So many people have made this happen, from volunteers to external partners to our maintenance crew and staff at the district,” she said. “It is a first-class facility.”

The new hub kitchen at Millidgeville North School in Saint John. Image: Brad Perry

Inner City Youth Ministry, which has run a lunch program for more than 30 years, will operate out of the new hub.

The program provides lunches to more than 400 students in kindergarten to Grade 8 at nine community schools. In total, more than 45,000 meals are served every year.

Lane said they hope to add three more schools to the roster in the fall and an additional three schools in the new year.

Anglophone South has also partnered with Food Depot Alimentaire to provide breakfast programs at three schools: Hazen White-St. Francis School, Centennial School, and St. John the Baptist/King Edward School.

The long-term goal is to serve all schools right across the Anglophone South School District, though Lane said it will take time to make that happen.

“It is our hope to be able to establish a hub kitchen like this within the St. Stephen area as well as the Sussex area,” she said.

Superintendent Derek O’Brien said it is an “exciting time” for the district and welcomed an addition like the hub kitchen.

“It’s really going to bring together all of those services that we’ve been doing in different ways and support not only the schools that we have been supporting in Saint John but hopefully to be able to grow the model and continue to support schools throughout Anglophone South,” said O’Brien.


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