Chalk Talk - Spring 2020 - Volume 9, Issue 1
Superheroes of Hope

Volume 10, Issue 1

Inside This Issue

  • Supporting Students and Families Through The Pandemic
  • The Power Of Relationships Reflections On Successes During a Pandemic
  • The Challenges During Covid-19
  • Priority Programs During Covid -19
  • Support Provided During Covid-19
  • Our Major Gift Superheroes of Hope & Children’s Champions
  • The Student Impact of The “Now More Than Ever” Campaign
  • 20th Annual Golf Tournament

All students have the support needed to realize well-being and success.


We fundraise to provide programs and services that help students overcome barriers and succeed in school.

Our job is to fundraise for programs and services that overcome barriers and help students succeed in school.

We believe that all students should have the support they need to realize well-being and success, and we’re committed to creating equal opportunities for all students.

Programs – such as Prom Project, the Good Backpack Program, the Student Emergency Fund, and our Student Nutrition Programs: Food for Learning, Food for Thought, and The Food Sharing Project – help students to actively participate in their school life.

Our programs are universally accessible to all students, breaking down barriers and leveling the playing field in a non-stigmatizing way.

Supporting Students And Families Through The Pandemic!

I received a call from a concerned community member. They had heard an ad on the radio promoting our programs and asking people to make a donation. They were sure that the ads were a scam. Students were not in school so support wasn’t needed. I assured the caller that it wasn’t a scam and that we had been providing students and families with nutrition, clothing, hygiene items, Chromebooks, etc., since the pandemic had started. Regardless of in person, virtual, or ‘all online’ learners (during our lockdowns), we have been supporting students through our Food for Learning, Student Emergency Fund, Bring Your Own Device and Food for Home programs. We’ve quietly worked with school staff to provide this care. So, while I was disappointed that our caller wasn’t aware of all that we had provided, I shouldn’t have been surprised, and I was very glad they had called. It gave me the opportunity to share an update.

This issue of Chalk Talk is dedicated to updating you on our pandemic programming, and to share with you the positive impact of your support for students and families.

As I finish my introduction to this issue, I also want to share a story from an elementary principal. The principal was concerned as to the greatly increased number of students needing help with nutrition. These were students and families who in the past had been in a position to be supportive of school events. The pandemic has devastated family finances, and this story has been repeated many times over in our District.

Working together we have made things better for these families. We have given hope, helped to create equity and prevailed against poverty.

Maribeth DeSnoo – Executive Director – HPE Learning Foundation

Sean Monteith – Director of Education, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

“The work The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation does has resulted in saving lives and keeping students in school. Being able to provide basic staples is life changing. The pandemic has brought The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation and Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board closer together. The opportunity to redefine the definition of how we can support families. Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board strategic planning on Equity goals will only be achieved with the support of The Learning Foundation.”

The Power Of Relationships
Reflections on Successes During a Pandemic

Susan Sweet – Chair, Board of Directors – HPE Learning Foundation

Now, more than ever is a phrase that has been quoted many times over the past year. It has been used in many contexts, including requests for protective equipment for front line workers, reminders to ‘wash hands’, ‘wear a mask’, ‘social distance’ and encouragement to be kind to one another. The importance of working together while staying apart has challenged us in ways that we would never have imagined and yet, through supporting each other, much has been achieved. The solid relationships within our communities have led to many successes amid the pandemic. The achievements of The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation are due to the support of many community partners and individuals and the hard work of the Foundation Team, comprised of dedicated staff and volunteers. In this issue of Chalk Talk we take the opportunity to celebrate our successes and thank those responsible for making good things happen for our students.

Throughout the challenges presented by Covid, many relationships have been strengthened. Ensuring that students, whether in-school or learning virtually, have the support that they need has made the work of the Learning Foundation more important than ever. The positive response to Foundation requests for support is evidence of strong relationships within our communities. The Learning Foundation Team, including staff and volunteers, has worked hard to build those relationships.

You have received this issue of Chalk Talk because you support the work of the Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students. Stay safe and be well!

Sean Monteith – Director of Education, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

“Throughout the pandemic, the priority of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has been reassuring families that they are okay and they can reach out if they need any help, to ensure them that they will be able to get through this. I believe that The Learning Foundation has been able to redefine itself and has gone beyond what it would typically do. My thanks to all for the support of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board students.”

The Challenges During Covid-19

Geoffrey Cudmore – Past Chair, HPE Learning Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic presented school year deficits across our programs because the anticipation that student support would be GREATER given the financial challenges families were facing.

“Here we are, a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, and all of our lives have changed dramatically.

The past year for the Learning Foundation has been no different. Our programs like Food for Learning, the Student Emergency Program, Food For Home, and the Good Backpack Program were all impacted. Not only did our program delivery have to change to meet new and shifting needs as students and families locked down in the spring through summer, we had to cancel our planned fundraising events like the Food for Learning Auction and the Student Emergency Fund Golf Tournament.

As we moved into fall with new and far more expensive food handling protocols and large numbers of food insecure students studying from home, the Learning Foundation staff and Board identified a roughly $400,000 shortfall in our ability to meet our ongoing commitments to our students and families in this region. As a result, in October, we launched our Superheroes of Hope “Now More Than Ever” campaign in support of Food for Learning, Student Emergency Fund and Food for Home.”

With all of the support from our donor heroes we will be able to continue to provide for the students within The Hastings and Prince Edward District.

Sean Monteith – Director of Education, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

“School administrators and staff are doing a great job. As an organization, we wouldn’t be successful without the Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation supporting our families and communities. The Learning Foundation staff deserve a lot of credit for the work they do behind the scenes, being able to attract donors and support of our programs – I am grateful for the work that has been done. We continue to work hard at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, but students in school is more than education it is the social and emotional need that kids require now.”

Our Major Gift Superheroes Of Hope & Children’s Champions!


Bell Canada
Elizabeth & George Churcher
City of Belleville
City of Quinte West
Egg Farmers of Ontario
Canadian Tire Trenton, Glenn & Nancy Puchniak
Spencer Hutchison
J&P Leveque Bros. Haulage Ltd.
McDougall Insurance & Financial
Pepsico Foods Canada Inc
Barbara & Art Tait
Tim Horton’s Madoc
The Rotary Club of Wellington
The Rotary Club of Quinte Sunrise
Rotary District 7070


CUPE Local #1022
The Rotary Club of Stirling


Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic Education Foundation
Charitable Foundation of the Ontario Grocery Industry
Classic Hits & Cool 100, Starboard Communications
Kellogg Canada Inc
Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Social Services
Quinte Broadcasting Company


United Way Hastings and Prince Edward Inc.

$100000 +

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The support provided will allow students to develop healthy, lifelong eating habits, while directly supporting their current academic development. This is invaluable, thank you!
Maribeth deSnoo, Executive Director, The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation

Breakfast Clubs of Canada
Breakfast Club of Canada was able to further help organizations such as The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation thanks to the Emergency Food Security Funding from the Ministry Agriculture &Agri-Food Canada. Our “Special Grants 2020-2021 COVID-19” is supporting increases in program attendance, additional pandemic-related program costs and sustainable investments in community food infrastructure.

Hastings County Human and Community Services
“Through Ontario Social Services Relief Funding, Hasting County is proud to partner with the Learning Foundation to bring much needed supports and services to our communities during these pandemic recovery challenges.”

John M. & Bernice Parrott Foundation
“Thank you to the John M. & Bernice Parrott Foundation for supporting our programs. Through generous donations, the Parrott Foundation ensures that students receive the support they need to be successful in school”.
Susan Sweet, Chair, The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation

Ministry of Community, Children and Social Services
“We are grateful to the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services for the additional funding provided to ensure that we could adapt and continue to provide student nutrition programs, throughout the South East Region, during the pandemic. These funds allowed us to support students without interruption, in a way that was safe for all.”
Susan Sweet, Chair, The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation

The Student Impact Of The Now More Than Ever Campaign!

Marion Wilson, Principal – Bird’s Creek Public School

As a principal I draw upon the Student Emergency Fund, the Food for Learning program and the Food for Home fund now more than ever. I am not sure you would find a principal within the jurisdiction where this was not so. The continuing pandemic has put incredible strains on many of our families. Food insecurity is being experienced by families for whom this never was their reality. Families are financially stretched more and more and are left making very difficult decisions with regards to which needs they can address … food or glasses, heat or new clothes or their hydro bill or nutritious lunches for their children.

The money raised through the Now More Than Ever Campaign will help to provide families with access to essentials. By providing some of our most fragile families gift cards for groceries throughout the summer through the Food for Home program, we helped to meet the basic needs of their children. It may also have meant that those families were able to purchase much needed clothes and shoes for growing children as some of their grocery bill was taken care of.

The Food for Learning program ensures that our students are provided with healthy meals and/or snacks while at school. While those of us gathered today do not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or how we are going to feed our families, that is not the reality for so many families. I know that throughout the schools FFL serves, we have homes who rely on this program. The program has adapted to the reality of COVID-19 and still manages to serve nutritious, delicious meals and or snacks to children daily while we are in school and is able to provide grocery cards to offset the cost of nutritious snacks and breakfasts during school closure.

Food for Learning has not forgotten those vulnerable families who have chosen to learn online through virtual schooling. Grocery gift cards are distributed monthly in lieu of a Breakfast Club or snack program. Parents are able to use this to purchase breakfast or snack items for their children.

The Student Emergency Fund allows me, as a principal, to address student needs in multiple areas. Recently I was able to purchase grocery cards and snow pants for a family impacted by a parent’s medical situation. At other times, we have helped to purchase much needed eye glasses for a student or helped to cover costs associated with extra-curricular or out of school activities. The Student Emergency Fund is drawn upon for clothing and outwear, for footwear and prescription glasses, for the costs associated with applying to college or university, to enable a student to be part of a team, to provide gas cards so parents can take their children to specialist appointments out of town, for drug store purchases related to personal hygiene. The list is endless.

The success of the Now More Than Ever campaign is far reaching. It impacts so many of the students and their families within our schools. On behalf of those students and my colleagues, I thank you.

Conversations With Donors

Elaner Pound, Director – HPE Learning Foundation

Over the last month or so, I, along with several other Directors of the Learning Foundation, had the opportunity to phone and/or email donors to the Now More Than Ever campaign to thank them personally for their donations, and what a pleasure it was!

I learned so much from our donors. They told me that they had heard about our campaign over the radio, or in the print media. The ads peeked their interest, and some visited the Learning Foundations’ website to learn more. Others, had children or grandchildren who attended our schools, or they know teachers, EA’s, etc. who worked in the system, and questions were asked about the programs.

No matter how they obtained their information, they found that Food for Learning, or Food for Home or the Student Emergency Fund were worthy entities to which they wished to donate.

Often, our conversations offered opportunities for me to provide additional information regarding each of these programs. For example, donors wanted to know how children accessed the breakfast programs, what might be served, etc. and I was happy to talk with them about the programs.

As a donor myself, as well as a former educator and volunteer in one of our local schools, I can attest to the value of these programs. Teachers and students alike would tell me how valued the programs were and how they helped students feel safe and secure in their school. It was reassuring to them and to me, as well, that hungry children in the school were receiving much needed nourishing food, and as a result were well prepared for learning.

As our conversations concluded, I would hear the comment, “These are truly worthy programs, and I will be donating again! Thank you for your call.”

Let’s Play A Round
for The Student Emergency Fund

The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation 20th Annual Golf Tournament

10am Tuesday, August 24th, Oak Hills Golf Course

For 20 years, The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation has hosted an Annual Golf Tournament to support our Student Emergency Fund and this would not be possible without your support! We’ve learned a great deal over the years about the difference the Student Emergency Fund can make in a student’s life.

As one of our elementary principals wrote: “Our families live, what I describe as “very close to the edge”. Stress that comes from everyday living is often enough to cause a crisis. Our families are “close enough to the edge” financially, that any unplanned need will cause a disruption. For example, an unexpected cold snap that causes a greater hydro bill or the need for a new battery in the car will put a family in need.

Simply put, the HPELF recognizes that these types of needs exist and responds to these needs in our communities. With the support of the HPELF we have been able to help families with food, clothing, medicine and field trips just to name a few things.

The biggest difference between the HPELF and other charities is that once we, the school, recognize the need, we don’t have to “jump through hoops”. We simply identify the need and we can act.”

As another of our principals wrote, “The work of The HPELF is essential for the success of our students. Please know how much we appreciate all you do for children. Your efforts make a difference in the lives of so many.”

Your participation in our annual Student Emergency Fund Golf Tournament makes it possible for us to support students in our community: to provide assistance that helps students overcome barriers and succeed in school. Thank you for helping make a difference in the lives of many!

Maribeth deSnoo
Executive Director

Hosted by:

Tee Times available starting at 10am

All Proceeds to Support Student Emergency Fund

Principal Jo-Anne Barry – Frankford Public School

During lockdown we applied for and received support for a number of families. We coordinated with the High School and as the administrator I had more than a few meetings in parking lots to exchange grocery cards. I had a team of staff who couldn’t wait to deliver the cards to families and we kept the delivery staff consistent to help them to develop a relationship. The first time I delivered myself, I was unable to reach anyone, so I drove to homes, and that was a huge surprise, but a very pleasant one.

When we dropped off the supports for the summer, families were truly overwhelmed and we had tears of appreciation. My staff overwhelmingly saw the impact of the Learning Foundation’s Food for Learning and Food for Home Programs first hand in a way that we don’t normally experience or really think about as we give out snacks from the snack bin or provide breakfasts.

One of the effects of Covid-19 I think is that our staff got outside of their classrooms/homes and saw students in their homes and met with families when they were most vulnerable. The rewards of “not only” being able to offer the grocery cards, but also to connect on a human level was immeasurable, and my staff would definitely say that this opened their eyes in a way that our typical supports at school hadn’t previously.

In conclusion, being able to connect on a human level is unmeasurable.

Thank you to The Learning Foundation for all of the support.

Download This Issue of Chalk Talk

Pin It on Pinterest