Toonies for Tummies is back in action again in 2016. We are so happy to be able to assist and support such a wonderful initiative.
When my Children wake up in the morning, after saying good morning and making their beds, I always hear: “Mom, what’s for breakfast?” Breakfast is a crucial meal in this house and my Children know how important it is. The kids know that they need to eat a healthy and well balanced breakfast, especially before school. We are lucky that we have the means to ensure that our kids are well fed before they head off for a full day of education.
Going to school without the proper nutrition can make it hard to focus and learn. In all honesty, I can’t imagine having to apply myself without giving my body and mind the proper fuel it needs. Yet, many Children have to. In fact, 1 in 4 students in grade 4 are going to school without having eaten breakfast. This is just something that we have to change.
The Grocery Foundation and Toonies for Tummies Can Help
Representing leaders from Canada’s grocery industry, the Ontario based not-for-profit by the name of The Grocery Foundation, was established in 1979. The Grocery foundation as raised over $85 million for more than 250 organizations across the province to date. The organizations meet the health and wellness needs by providing snacks and nutritious breakfasts for school-aged students across the province. More recently The Foundation focuses all of its efforts on student nutrition programs working in partnership with the Ontario Student Nutrition Program Network (OSNPN), which represents many different agencies who help provide and facilitate nutrition province wide.
No Child should have to try to learn on an empty stomach!
I am not the only one who feels this way…
Agents of Change
Meet Shannon Vorster! Shannon is a student at Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes SS who has something to say about Childhood Hunger, and what she has to say is incredibly important. Shannon knows how important it is for Students to go to school with full bellies. “Students attend school for 7-8 hours each day,” She says “which requires them to be constantly active whether physically or mentally.” Shannon went on to explain “Lots of kids don’t have proper food at home. To be fully present at school, students can’t be sitting there feeling sick because they’re so hungry. It impacts their learning and the way they approach school.” Shannon believes that school nutrition fixes the issue of hunger the best it can. “By having food you can access for free at school,” Shannon explains, “Someone’s day could be completely changed.”
Agents of Change Summit
For the first time ever High School students from all over the province, Shannon included, will be coming together at the Toonies for Tummies Agents of Change Summit. The Summit will take place in Toronto on February 8th and the 11 chosen youth Ambassadors will share presentations centered on the topic of school nutrition with members of the food industry, including the 2016 Toonies for Tummies Campaign and retailer partners.
The Summit will also touch on ways to involve stakeholders and parents, including Canada’s Food manufacturers, school boards and grocery retail industry, including the entire community as well.
When Shannon was asked about what she plans to present at the summit, I was quite impressed with this young woman’s ideas.
Shannon has some great ideas when it comes to raising awareness about school nutrition programs. “I think if we created a day and color for nutrition like we do for anti-bullying day,” Shannon said, “then that would create awareness of the problem. Then once students are aware that this is a bigger issue than someone looking for a snack they will want to help.”
What does Shannon think we can do to improve the School nutrition programs? “We could involve students and improve our programs if we created a club where students would make breakfasts for the other students in the morning.” Shannon explained, “From omelets to breakfast burritos, we could have students eating whole healthy meals for breakfast.”
How You Can Help Toonies for Tummies
Together with their campaign sponsors, The Grocery foundation’s goal is to raise $600,000 in-store February 4-18th through the almost 400 different stores that are participating in this year’s campaign.
If you are interested in donating you can visit the Toonies for Tummies Microsite and donate online or visit one of the various retailers like Food Basics, Metro, Longos and more. To see the full list of retailers and sponsors visit the Grocery Foundation Website.
Track Your Toonie
To help ensure the funds make their way to schools in your community that will most benefit from your generous support, we are working with various agencies who oversee breakfast and nutrition programs to identify local schools in the neighbourhood of participating stores. You can go online and see the various schools / communities that are benefiting from the monies raised using the Toonie Tracker!
Join the Conversation with the Toonies for Tummies Twitter Chat
Join the Conversation at the #Toonies4Tummies Twitter Chat and learn more about how your Toonie can fill a child’s tummy.
Times: 1pm-1:30pm EST and 9pm-9:30pm EST
“The fact that so many students are hungry and we haven’t taken more action yet, angers me. Not many treat it like a huge concern because we’re in a first world country; how bad could it be?” exclaims Shannon, “I wish this wasn’t the case, but I’m happy we’re starting to make a change.” We can all help to make that change Shannon speaks of. Visit Tooniesfortummies.ca to make a donation today, Contribute at your closest participating location, or spread the word on social media using hashtag #Toonies4Tummies.
Disclosure: Ninjamommers is being compensated for her work on this post. All opinions and her specific support for this wonderful cause are of her own volition and not influenced in any way.