Update: This year’s Toonies for Tummies campaign has been extended to February 28 in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba! Please help us continue to make a difference for kids in your area!
Every morning I get up, shake the kids awake, and send them off (repeatedly) to get dressed for school. I pack their lunches, search for any permission slips I may have forgotten, and put a quick breakfast on the table. Some mornings it’s yogurt with fresh fruit. Some mornings it’s almond butter and banana slices on toast. Sometimes it’s a quick bowl of cereal with a handful of berries, but the one thing they can count on is never having to worry that there won’t be enough food.
Not everyone is as fortunate though. As a social worker working with kids and families, I’m sadly aware that even in a country as wealthy as ours, almost 1 in 5 children (1.3 million children) live below the poverty line. Indigenous, visible minority, and female-headed single parent households are among the most vulnerable in our country. 1 in 5 Canadian children goes to school hungry, and quite frankly, that’s unacceptable.
Any parent will tell you that kids have a much harder time keeping it together when they’re hungry. When my girls start to melt down, offering a couple of slices of cheese or an apple can work wonders! I can’t expect them to do their best when their stomachs are rumbling and they’re running on empty.
We know that hungry kids have a hard time keeping focused and often struggle in school. On the other hand, we also know that putting student nutrition programs in place provides a wealth of benefits for children, their families, their schools, and their communities. I’m talking benefits like improvements in behaviour and attention span, higher academic achievement, and even higher graduation rates. It’s an investment in our children and their futures!
Across Canada, breakfast clubs in 1455 schools serve more than 163,000 kids. Over 27 million breakfasts were served in the 2015-2016 school year alone! Here in BC, we have 132 breakfast clubs with 6094 kids attending every day. That’s over one million breakfasts served per year. Unfortunately, we also have another 132 clubs in BC on the waiting list for support. That’s why I’m proud to help The Grocery Foundation get the word out about this year’s Toonies for Tummies program.
Toonies for Tummies is a simple way you can help kids get the healthy nutrition they need to succeed at school and in life. From February 9-23, 2017, whenever you shop at participating grocery stores, you’ll have the opportunity to donate a toonie to local student nutrition programs. Please consider giving at the till or donating online to help fill empty tummies. Each toonie provides one child with a healthy, balanced, filling meal to fuel their day.
I’m especially excited about this year’s campaign because for the first time ever, Toonies for Tummies is moving out west thanks to a partnership between The Grocery Foundation and Breakfast Club of Canada! More than 150 Save-On-Foods stores across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are joining forces with 355 grocery stores in Ontario including Metro, Food Basics, Longo’s, and participating independents to help collect donations for local student nutrition programs.
- In BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, visit participating Save-On-Foods stores.
- In Ontario, visit Metro, Food Basics, Longo’s, and participating independent grocers.
Our goal this year is to raise $850,000. Thanks to invaluable sponsors and retail partners who cover the program costs, 100% of all the money raised will go towards local programs that support kids in your own community. Enter your postal code at Toonies for Tummies to track where your toonie gets spent.
You can help make sure that kids get the healthy nutrition they need to succeed at school and in life! Donate a toonie this month and join the conversation to help us raise awareness with #Toonies4Twitter on Facebook and Twitter.
When you make a donation, you’ll also receive a coupon book courtesy of sponsors Burnbrae Eggs to Go, Gold Fish Crackers, Carr’s Water Table Crackers, Snack Pack, Chef Boyardee, Allen’s Apple Juice, Oasis Apple Juice, Belvita, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Janes Chicken Breast Fillets, Tropicana Pure Premium Juice, Quaker Oats, Astro Original Yogurt, and Black Diamond Cheese.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.