Carol Sedgwick, left, Bri Hunter, Karen Severinson, Lucia Lyons, and Suzanne Ryles prepare health-minded grocery bags for west coast families. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Carol Sedgwick, left, Bri Hunter, Karen Severinson, Lucia Lyons, and Suzanne Ryles prepare health-minded grocery bags for west coast families. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Tofino-Ucluelet schools provide groceries to 60 families

“Hopefully our children staying home are getting the nourishment that helps them do their homework.”

The Ucluelet Secondary School band room was a hive of activity on April 28 as worker bees readied food packages for 60 West Coast families.

Filled with healthy options for breakfast and lunch, the brown paper grocery bags were destined for homes in Tyhistanis and Esowista, Opitsaht, Hitacu, Ucluelet, Tofino, and Macoah.

“We are trying to get some staples to these families, things like milk, cheese and bread, fresh fruit and eggs,” said lunch program co-ordinator Suzanne Ryles. “Hopefully our children that have to stay home are getting the nourishment that helps them do their homework.”

Ucluelet Secondary School principal Carol Sedgwick said the initiative took a little bit of co-ordination between all three schools, but they were able to use the lump sum of all the lunch program SD70 funds, so they can offer the groceries up for free and they have lots of money to make it a weekly service.

“We’ll keep it going as long as school is suspended,” said Sedgwick.

Ryles, who owns Caledonia Catering, said they are working closely with the Tofino and Ucluelet Co-ops as well as the local Sysco rep to help with the food orders.

“They are being delivered by boat, train, planes, basically anyway we need to get them across the bay,” she said with a laugh, adding that since the initiative was launched two weeks ago they have had to deal with a broken down supply truck, a Kennedy Hill road closure, and a broken down boat.

Sedgwick notes that the groceries delivered to First Nations neighbourhoods are distributed by a staff member at the secondary school who lives within the community or are passed off to a volunteer waiting at the gateway.

“The schools contacted the families who normally use the school lunch programs. Some families said, ‘We’re okay, please use that money for other families,’ and other families said ‘Yes, that would be super helpful.’ We also gave the option to families who declined that if their situation changes, we are happy to help them out,” said Sedgwick.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: Tofino artist creates colouring pages to splash creativity into self-isolation

PHOTOS: B.C. seniors offer advice to younger generations

#wereinthistogetherUcluelet Secondary School

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Black Press Media file photo
Tofino sets municipal tax rates

Tofino’s residential property values are rising while businesses are declining.

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Amphitrite Point lighthouse on Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail during a massive winter storm. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet’s Official Community Plan public hearing goes ahead despite push back

A petition calling on Ucluelet council to postpone the May 13 virtual event fails to deter

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Most Read