A senior who lost her husband 11 years ago spends time every week making sure children are fed properly and is our CTV Calgary Inspiring Albertan this week.

A senior who lost her husband 11 years ago spends time every week making sure children are fed properly.  When Irene Kennedy’s husband died she decided it was time to give back.

It’s hard to believe in such a prosperous city that thousands of children go to school in Calgary every single day without a proper lunch and Irene is helping to make sure those kids are fed.

Irene made the decision to look for volunteering opportunities that would benefit children after her husband pass away and found Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids, “I went down to the main volunteer office and I went through the places where they needed somebody and I wanted something with children so this kind of fit the bill.”

Irene is always one of the first to arrive at the downtown kitchen and does a lot of prep work, like peeling the eggs for egg salad sandwiches and chopping celery.

Tanya Koshowski, Executive Director of Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids says Irene’s commitment is unbelievable, “She gets on the train early in the morning no matter what the temperature is and she’s down here once or twice a week to ensure that kids in Calgary get fed.”

The organization has regular volunteers that provide lunches for about one thousand kids on school days and Koshowski says new volunteers can learn a lot from Irene “she’s showing other people that are coming in that you can still do this, you can make time in your life and your day to give back.”

Stephanie Gauthier is in charge of the kitchen and works with many of those volunteers and even though she appreciates them all, she says she has a special place in her heart for Irene. “I just think it’s amazing that she’s been coming in once a week for so many years and she always comes in.  She’s the first one to laugh, the first one to smile, to give you a hug and she’s just a wonderful caring person and she just lights up the room when she walks in.”

Irene says she intends to continue her volunteer work for as long as she can.

For she does to make sure no Calgary kids miss out on a nutritious lunch, Irene Kennedy is our inspired Albertan this week.

To learn more about the Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids program, click HERE.

(With files from CTV's Darrel Janz)