Janine Hebert from Bonnyville recently captured the gold as part of Team Canada for the 2021 North American Regional Powerlifting Championships in Orlando Florida. Herbert has been lifting more than weights, she has been lifting the spirits of less fortunate hungry children in the Lakeland with a program she created 8 years ago.
Isthmus Bonnyville is a weekend food program to help kids who are dealing with food insecurity and the Christmas bags are ready to be delivered this Thursday.
“The program runs from October to mid-June,” Hebert told Lakeland Connect. “It’s free to schools and families.”
Herbert currently has 40 children who rely on the program. Food insecurity is particularly crushing for kids – proper nutrition is crucial for a child’s mental, emotional and physical development. Poor nutrition drains children of their energy and vitality, which makes it difficult for them to thrive in school and in life.
“I saw a need,” Herbert said when asked why she started the food program. “The community has been very helpful.”
The program is completely confidential Herbert says and is for anyone who needs a little help.
“I have no idea who I am serving,” Herbert said. “The school’s admin and teachers are the only ones who know.”
As a powerlifter, Hebert knows how important fuel is for the body. Food insecurity during childhood is linked to poor-quality diets and impaired nutritional outcomes. In turn, micronutrient deficiencies and stunting, a form of chronic malnutrition, in early childhood decrease cognitive skills and psycho-social health.
Herbert is doing her part to make sure students do not go hungry in the Lakeland.
“I want to give a huge thank you to the Bonnyville Community and friends from other places,” Herbert said.
Lakeland Connect would like to say thank you to Herbert for caring about our community, not only do you have a gold medal for Team Canada but you also have a golden heart.