February 18, 2017

Make a Change and Help End Child Hunger #Toonies4Tummies

We know how important having a healthy breakfast is for our overall well-being. I am glad that the Ontario based not-for-profit organization Grocery Foundation Voucher program, Toonies for Tummies gives every Canadian a chance to fundraise towards providing nutritious breakfasts and snacks for school-aged students across Ontario and Western Canada. 
The Grocery Foundation raise funds on behalf of food, beverage and consumer goods manufacturers, distributors and retailers to support school nutrition programs administered by registered charities. To date, The Grocery Foundation has raised in excess of $85 million, which has gone towards health and wellness programs that provide nutritious breakfasts and snacks for school-aged students through agencies such as Ontario Student Program, Breakfast Club of Canada, Breakfast for Learning, and Boys and Girls Clubs.    
Morning fasting is known to have negative effects on cognitive performances even among healthy and well-nourished children. Under-nutrition can have lasting effects and it can compromise cognitive development and school performance. Since 2000, Toonies for Tummies has raised nearly $15,000,000 to help in this cause. In addition The Grocery Foundation makes capital and one-time donations to these programs. 
The City of Toronto recently revealed that their budgets for student nutrition programs in the GTA is $2.2 million short. Nearly 500 stores will be collecting donations until February 23rd, where we can do our part to help end child hunger. Toonie is all it takes to feed a tummy. 
After the completion of this campaign, I had the pleasure of contacting Kellie Brace, Nutrition Program Coordinator at The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation to learn how the funding from the Toonies for Tummies campaign has directly impacted their local community.
"The partnership between The Grocery Foundation and the Ontario Student Nutrition Program Network has benefited schools offering breakfast, snack and/or lunch programs across the province. In the South East Region we are incredibly grateful for this support. In addition to their voucher program and financial contribution, The Grocery Foundation also facilitates the province wide "Toonies for Tummies" campaign.Student Nutrition Programs in our region provided 2,491,743 meals and snacks last year. The school staff, volunteers, and our Food and Logistics Coordinator do an absolutely fabulous job of purchasing the food needed to prepare these meals and snacks on a shoe-string budget. The funds received from "Toonies for Tummies" help ensure that schools have funds needed to provide healthy and nutritious food options every day throughout the school year. Funds collected through this campaign are returned to the communities that made the contributions. It is our experience that when fundraising revenue stays local, there is a great likelihood of giving. "Toonies for Tummies" is a great example as the funds collected support the donors' families, friends and neighbours. In addition to adding funds into our programs, the "Toonies for Tummies" campaign helps us to spread the word about the benefits of student nutrition programs and reminds our communities that these programs are offered in their local schools. Increasing awareness allows us to build local capacity for the sustainability of the programs.Last year $31,450 was returned to the South East Region from the "Toonies for Tummies" campaign. This is a significant contribution and on behalf of students, staff, and volunteers connected to Food for Thought (Lanark County), Food for Learning (Hastings and Prince Edward counties) and The Food Sharing Project (Lennox and Addington and Frontenac counties), we send a huge THANK YOU to The Grocery Foundation."
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  1. Such a simple thing to do - it's easy enough to give up a coffee for a day :)

  2. I love nutrition programs for children. No child should ever go hungry. What a great program.

  3. Feeding children is important. I'm so glad that this program and other like it, keep us aware that the need is all around us, and that it doesn't take a lot to help.

  4. I'm so glad this has finally come to the Western provinces.

  5. What a wonderful cause. Breakfast is so important for good learning at school.


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