Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Teen can feed more thanks to sweet gift

  • Print

What started as a one-time project has turned into a way of life for Nathan Unrau.

Nathan’s Lunches With Love initiative, a free bag-lunch program for Winnipeg’s homeless population, received a nice boost Thursday morning when Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada surprised the teenager with a cheque for $2,000.

"What this means is that we get to make more lunches," offered a wide-eyed Nathan, who thought he was just taking a guided tour of the bottling plant. "I’m living proof that anyone can make a difference, no matter what your age."

Lunches With Love is a not-for-profit program that makes bag lunches for people who rely on homeless shelters. Nathan, a high-functioning autistic 13-year-old from Charleswood, came up with the program in 2012, when he wanted to do something that would make a positive difference for those who count on shelters in this city for food.

With the help of his parents, Rohan and Elsie, the program started with 47 lunches that were dropped off at the Main Street Project in October 2012. After witnessing the tough conditions and the strength of the human spirit at the shelter, the Westdale School student decided he wanted to make the program part of his regular routine and Lunches With Love expanded from there.

Coming up on two years of existence, the initiative has assembled and delivered more than 16,000 lunches.

"When we first went down there, we could see the look on the homeless people’s faces and that just told us, ‘Man, we need to do more,’ " Nathan said. "The reason why I’m doing this instead of playing Xbox at home is that I feel a need (to help) the homeless."

These days, Lunches With Love delivers 850 lunches (consisting of a tuna/egg salad sandwich, a piece of fruit, a baked good and a bottle of water) once a month to shelters around Winnipeg. The program has between 20 to 30 volunteers and has plans to expand to approximately 1,600 lunches later this year.

"We’re starting up a second shift in October because we have too many volunteers, we can’t accommodate them all," said Elsie Unrau, who helps Nathan oversee the operation.

"The response to this program has been incredible. Honestly, we haven’t had to purchase an item in two years. Winnipeg has just been so generous with donations, whether it’s food, money or their time."

Nathan said the $2,000 cheque from Coca-Cola should help prepare approximately 1,500 lunches for Winnipeg’s homeless community.

"There’s a lot more we can do," he added.

"There’s no limit to how big this program can get."

History

Updated on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 6:10 AM CDT: Changes cutline

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maurice Leggett on his three interceptions vs. Alouettes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should panhandling at intersections be banned?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google